Popular Cultures: Research Project Presentation (10%)
This research project presentation (Assignment 1) covers one of the four main topics we are going to cover throughout the remainder of this course. You will give a presentation on your research project and this will be worth 10% of your grade. You will then write up your project and submit your research by Week 15. Your submitted paper will be worth 15%. Both assignments will be combined to form 25% of your grade for the class.
Students are required to conduct a research project on one of the topics/related to and will present your results during the week that that topic is discussed. You may do your project alone or in pairs.
You will need to formulate a clear research question and use a mix of research methods including observation, interviews, literature research etc.). You will need to conduct both primary and secondary research.
Each presentation will be 10 minutes duration and must include a list of sources (bibliography) at the end using APA style referencing.
Presentations will start in Week 8.
The four topics include:

  1. Hybridity in Transnational Pop Culture
  2. Media Imperialism
  3. Orientalisms (representing and ‘appropriating’ the Other)
  4. Popular Culture as a site of political struggle

Think about what you are interested in in Popular Culture. Choose something that you want to know about or investigate. I would advise you to choose a topic related to the Gulf/UAE as it will be easier to do interviews/surveys with the population groups that are here. It’s also an extremely fast changing and incredibly fascinating area! I have given you a list here, but you will need to narrow the topic down to a specific research question. Think: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How? You will need to come up with a research question, which you will then investigate and draw conclusions from based on your research. You will then present your findings to the class.
Some ideas/examples include:

  • Multiculturalism in the UAE and how it has changed culture/s
  • Shopping and culture
  • Tourism and culture
  • Commercializing culture
  • Religious culture in the….
  • Food and celebrations in ….culture
  • How Arabic women are depicted in Western films
  • Muslims in the media
  • Expatriate culture/s in…..
  • Refugee/migrant culture in…..
  • Images of beauty in popular culture of…
  • Emirati cultural change in the 21st century
  • Bedouin culture
  • K-Pop in the UAE
  • K-beauty and its impact on the Gulf
  • Changing ideas of gender in the Gulf
  • Tourism in Saudi Arabia
  • Fashion and cultural change
  • Museums and popular culture (heritage)
  • Teenage culture in the UAE
  • University culture in the UAE
  • Americanization of Emirati Culture?


  • Gender and driving culture in the UAE
  • TV and popular culture in the Emirates
  • The influence of Arab Idol/American Idol/The Voice etc. on popular culture
  • Popular culture and music