How the Internet is Changing the Practice of Politics in the Middle East: Political Protest, New Social Movements, and Electronic Samizdat
|Author: ||Roberts, Joseph W.|
This work examines the socio-economic and socio-political factors that make modern information technology a useful and viable tool for expatriate political and social movements in dealing with the rigid state control of the traditional media in the Middle East.
“This text is also significant in its analysis of Internet usage among Middle East expatriates. Dr. Roberts portrays a social organization that engages new media in sophisticated ways to inform, recruit and promote its agenda. His work demonstrates how peoples from this region of the world employ the Internet to tell their own stories, to construct (and repair) their own image, and to change their own nations. These depictions challenge the Western ideology that perceives Arabic peoples as disempowered and technologically unsophisticated.
The study also highlights the dialectic nature of media-society relationships: Ideologically dominant media, particularly one as interactive and participatory as the Internet, concurrently enable contestation and reproduction of dominant norms. Marginalized groups’ engagement with such media can thus be at once resistive and complicit. This fact is aptly illustrated in Dr. Roberts’s text as he discusses how the CDLR/M IRA social organization uses the Internet —which is considered a Western technology — to promote non-Western ideals, and in the process, reinforce Western media norms; they employ Western media to undermine Western influence in their region and country even as they reinforce Western communication conventions in their media use.” – Prof. Kamille Gentles-Peart, Roger Williams University
Table of Contents
Foreword Prof. Kamille Gentles-Peart
2. Media and movements: Tradition Unbounded
3. Computer-Mediated communications and The Politics of Identity
4. Origins and evolution of the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights
5. The Question of Identity in the CDLR and MIRA
6. Computer-Mediated Communication: A Tool for Social Protest and Activism
7. Conclusion: Social movements and Technopolitics
Appendix 1: Interview Questions
Primary Research Questions