The Internet and Youth Subculture in Kuwait


  • Deborah L. Wheeler

    1. Holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. For the past 6 years she has taught at the University of Washington, holding appointments in the Jackson School of International Studies, the Center for Internet Studies and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. She was one of the first scholars in the U.S. to conduct field work on the development and impact of the Internet in the Islamic World. Over the past 7 years she has conducted field studies in Kuwait, Dubai, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, and Morocco. Her publications include articles in Communication Research, Middle East Journal, Digest of Middle East Studies, and several edited volumes. She is presently completing a book on the development and impact of the Internet in Kuwait. She has lectured nationally and internationally on technology and society issues with a special focus on the importance of gender and culture in regulating technological change.
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Young people in Kuwait constitute both the highest concentration of Internet users (estimated to be approximately 63% of all Internet users in Kuwait)and the largest sector of Kuwaiti society. Moreover, as argued in this article, young people's Internet practices are likely to stimulate the most significant changes in Kuwaiti society. This article scrutinizes a handful of descriptions by young Kuwaiti of the importance and implication of the Internet in their lives.