Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

6-1-2009

Publication Source

Journal of Communication

Volume

59

Issue

2

Start Page

345

Last Page

366

DOI

10.1111/j.1460-2466.2009.01419.x

Abstract

Drawn from a bigger project (Kraidy, 2009, in press), this article examines the heated debate triggered by the pan-Arab reality show Star Academy in Saudi Arabia. It examines how controversies over authenticity spawned by popular culture crystallize broader social and political struggles. The article focuses on Star Academy as a contentious media event, describing and analyzing various Saudi reactions to Star Academy, and zeroing in on what the controversy reveals about Saudi politics. The article concludes that Star Academy was so polemical in Saudi Arabia because the show subverted the religious bases of Saudi social order by promoting women’s agency, featuring cultural hybridity and individuating authenticity.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the accepted version of the article which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2009.01419.x

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Date Posted: 25 May 2012

This document has been peer reviewed.