Globalization is the increasing unification of regional economies, societies, and cultures through communication, transportation and trade. It is mainly driven by a combination of economic, technological, social-cultural, biological and political factors. It can also be referred to as the transitional circulation of ideas, languages, or popular cultures through acculturation.
Researchers have argued that globalization started as early as the start of trade links between Sumer and the Indus valley civilization in the third millennium. But the biggest impact was felt in the 1990s due to the growth of low cost communication networks which allowed people in different parts of the world to integrate through communication. In the recent past globalization has been improved even more by the fine communication through the internet and the advancement of technology. This has made the world become like a small village because people in far away countries can get together easily (Valley Silicon, 2010).
The most affected group of people by globalization is the youth from all corners of the world. This is mainly because the young people who are aged between 18 to 24 years are the most active internet users. Consequently they get to interact and relate to people who are all over the world. This makes them feel connected to the world and with more power. Amongst the youths affected by globalization are the young people from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is the birth place of Prophet Mohammad and Islam. It was established in 1932 by king Abd-al-Aziz and it practices strict interpretation of Sunni Islam. The country has been ruled as an absolute monarchy by the descendant of king Abd-al-Aziz since his death in 1953. The laws of the land have banned all professional unions, political parties and labor unions. The king makes important decisions with a consensus of Saudi royal family.
The country has 25 percent of the world’s known oil reserves which accounts for more than 90 percent of the country’s exports as well as 75% of government revenues. In communication and technology, the country has taken considerably huge steps forward. But due to the strict laws, bloggers who post anything which is negative about the government are usually arrested. The young people of age between 18 and 24 years make a quarter of the kingdom’s total population. And just like the rest of the youth in the world, the youth of Saudi Arabia have also been affected by globalization (Valley Silicon, 2010).
The Saudi Arabia’s youths are also subject to the strict Islamic laws. This has stood on the way of globalization amongst the young people. In fact some have shown tendencies to reject and oppose globalization. But the forces are as great all over the world as globalization makes life much easier. This has made the Saudi Arabia’s youth also have some effects from globalization in various fields.
Effects of globalization on Saudi Arabia’s youth