Selective Exposure and Perceived Identification With Characters in Transnational Arabic Television
Given the transnational nature of the Arabic satellite television industry and the cultural differences among Arab regions, this experiment examined the role of social identity in Arab viewers’ media choices and perceived identification with characters. Overall, Arab viewers identified more with in-group characters (gender and cultural region) and were more interested in watching programs that feature in-group lead characters. The perceived intended audience of the television program mediated the relationship between cultural identity on one hand and perceived identification with characters and selective exposure on the other. The findings show that social identity plays an important role in Arab viewers’ media consumption, and are discussed in light of social identity theory.