BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Date of Submission



Dr. Sahar Nadeem Hamid, Assistant Professor and Chairperson Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


Entertainment media has the power to influence our identities through representations and portrayals of certain racial and ethnic communities over others. Seeing as racial and ethnic belonging forms a crucial part of one’s self-concept and cultural identity, youth that spend a large amount of time-consuming international media through digital streaming services may find their cultural identities being influenced. This thesis study presents a qualitative, exploratory study that examines the influence of mainstream media entertainment on the cultural identity of Pakistani adolescents. Using interviews with 7 A-Level students in Pakistan and applying thematic analysis to the transcripts, certain themes emerged, such as “Digital Streaming Services as a Lifestyle”, “Preference of International Media over Local Media”, and “Mainstream Media Influence on Cultural Identity”, among others. Postcolonial theory and Multiculturalism were used as theoretical frameworks. Findings show that mainstream media can have a profound yet subtle impact on the cultural identity of adolescents in Pakistan. Seeing the portrayal of dominant races in media entertainment, particularly on platforms like Netflix, can lead to identity confusion in the perceptions and attitudes toward cultural identity living in Pakistan. Nonetheless, adolescents are still trying to make their distinct identities in this globalized landscape. The current study encourages the need for increased media literacy programs and accessible international channels of representation and portrayals for the youth in Pakistan and in general to empower them to critically engage with their media and create positive role models of representation in their crucial stages of development.



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