Last Thursday I attended the 2nd annual Communication Program to meet some of the Communication Department faculty and learn about their research outside of the classroom. It was really well organized which gave me an opportunity to understand what the department was researching in a short amount of time. I found all of the presenters' research to be interesting, modern, and unique. It was nice to see that all of the professors who presented entered their research with similar perspectives but had a variety of topics.
I thought Dr. Mesbah's topic of researching electronic media in Kuwait with a focus on finding a spouse was intriguing. There are many cultural differences between marriage in Kuwait and the U.S. In Kuwait there are often arranged marriages. An arranged marriage norm would cause a dating site to be irrelevant in this culture. Since internet dating and electronic media is growing in the middle-east, there has been an increase in alternative dating practices.
Dr. Mesbah found that people who had greater internet usage in general also had more unconventional ways of finding a spouse or partner. It seems like the more an individual is exposed to online dating media, the more they will use it. Dr. Mesbah's research also addresses a bigger issue of a very conventional culture adapting to modern technological advances. Interestingly it looks like there is more 'engagement' than clashing of unconventional methods intruding. To further this research, I would be interested in learning which 'couples' (arranged or cyber-connected) are happier or stay together longer. Cyber-dating is a huge part of modern dating. Learning about it when it is used in a different culture gave me a new perspective.
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