Modernisation without Westernisation in Saudi Arabia: Perceptions of the Country’s Urban Dwellers

Mohamed Zain*, Norizan Kassim, Nailah Ayub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the various changes and innovations implemented by the Government of Saudi Arabia, especially over the last two decades, in order to examine whether the country is undergoing modernisation without at the same time adopting Westernisation. We also investigated the differences in the perceptions towards modernisation and Westernisation between genders. Generally, from the results of our questionnaire survey, involving 264 respondents, we found that Saudi urban dwellers are now more receptive to both the concepts of modernisation and Westernisation as long as they do not contradict the country’s religious values and/or culture. Further, we found that females desire more individual rights and equal employment opportunities than their male counterparts. The findings also indicate a significant difference in the effect of age on the urban style and occupational structure of modernisation between males and females. Some implications of the findings in terms of practice and suggestions for future research are also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-601
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Modernisation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • social change
  • urban dwellers
  • Westernisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Modernisation without Westernisation in Saudi Arabia: Perceptions of the Country’s Urban Dwellers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this