The impact of technology on the cultural identity of Pakistan

Aslam, M.P., 2004. The impact of technology on the cultural identity of Pakistan. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

10183408.pdf - Published version

Download (44MB) | Preview


The thesis explores the impact of new information technologies on cultural identities in Pakistan. It suggests that there is a confusion in the public perception in Pakistan between 'globalisation' and 'westernisation' in general and the specific content, structure and outcomes of new information and communication technologies in particular. These have had important consequences for the reception of the latter. These consequences are examined through empirical enquiry. The key question is how the new technologies might facilitate or enable development. They clearly offer important opportunities for relatively sustainable forms of development. But these opportunities are being lost, the research suggests, as a result of the process of the reception of new technologies. The challenge of how to balance the potential for human development with the maintenance of cultural identity is a very difficult one to meet, and produces cultural, social and political conflicts which the thesis explores and, as far as possible, explains. One says 'as far as possible' because the challenge and the conflicts are ongoing. But the outcome is clearly critical for the future development of Pakistan's culture and society and its relationships with the rest of the world.

The thesis is grounded in a qualitative approach. The methodology is in turn based upon the critical reading of the relevant literature on globalisation and cultural identity, especially as this affects 'Islamic' societies. The originality of the thesis rests in a significant measure on the interviews which have been carried out and which explore how the challenges, opportunities and threats of new information technology affect Pakistan.

Chapter one outlines the methodology to the study. The chapter scrutinises the literature, offers a comparative approach to the organisation of the study and places the empirical evidence within the context of the research programme. Chapter two examines human development in Pakistan and its limited capacity to draw upon its own intellectual human resources. Chapter three looks at the national investment strategies in education and its impact of the social stratification of human development. The chapter examines the national indicators for achievement levels and sets out the crisis facing the Pakistani education system under its current investment levels. Chapter four is a critical review of the 'respondent survey'. The survey explores three key themes; what is information and electronic technology. what demands are placed upon the human development programme for its success. and finally, is Pakistan prepared to embrace modernisation. Chapter five explores the debate on globalisation and the cultural dichotomies within it, and consequently how Pakistan faces the desperate need for modernisation. The chapter takes the globalisation debate a step further by placing it within the context of the Muslim world and how it is responding to the impact of globalisation within an international cultural studies framework. Chapter six is drawn from the debate in cultural studies, where culturalism is the main protagonist. The chapter debates the impact of technology on the 'cultural identity of Pakistan' by presupposing a debate about what is meant by the term, identity. Furthermore the chapter explores at some length the clash of identity in Pakistan by offering a social analysis of the social stratification of the nation. Chapter seven examines the political legacies left behind by three prominent and influential leaders of Pakistan. The chapters analyse the sequence of events that challenge the clash of ideologies between secularism, Islamic socialism and Islamic conservatism. Chapter eight covers the international debate on the theory of technology and its implications for Pakistan. The chapter challenges the misconception of development in the context of technology, placing this concept against the myth of an information revolution. Part II of the chapter undertakes a critical analysis of the government's of its National IT Policy 2000 and scrutinises the policy's implications for the short term future of Pakistan.

The thesis concludes by suggesting that the potential for modernisation in Pakistan offered by new technologies is real and important, but that the potential is being missed, and that the net effect of new technologies is profoundly negative, despite there being some positive elements in Pakistan's experience of new technologies. The reasons for this lie more in the embeddedness of corruption and the nature of patterns of political and cultural power than in 'cultural identity' as such, but the study of the impact of technologies throws light on the ambivalence of cultural identities.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Aslam, M.P.
Date: 2004
ISBN: 9781369316131
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 25 Sep 2020 13:03
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2023 12:44

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year