How is the adoption of digital media in the Arab world affecting the relationship between the state and its subjects? What new forms of online engagement and strategies of resistance have emerged from the aspirations of digitally empowered citizens? Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia tells the compelling story of the concurrent evolution of technology and society in the Middle East. It brings into focus the intricate relationship between Internet development, youth activism, cyber resistance, and political participation. Taking Tunisia - the birthplace of the Arab uprisings - as a case study, it offers an ethnographically nuanced and theoretically grounded analysis of the digital culture of contention that developed in an authoritarian context. It broadens the focus from narrow debates about the role that social media played in the Arab uprisings toward a fresh understanding of how changes in media affect existing power relations.Based on extensive fieldwork, in-depth interviews with Internet activists, and immersive analyses of online communication, this book redirects our attention from institutional politics to the informal politics of everyday life. An original contribution to the political sociology of Arab media, Networked Publics and Digital Contention provides a unique perspective on how networked Arab publics negotiate agency, reconfigure political action, and reimagine citizenship.
Networked Publics and Digital Contention