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Digital use and mistrust in the aftermath of the Arab Spring: beyond narratives of liberation and disillusionment

Moreno-Almeida, Cristina and Banaji, Shakuntala (2019) Digital use and mistrust in the aftermath of the Arab Spring: beyond narratives of liberation and disillusionment. Media, Culture & Society, 41 (8). pp. 1125-1141. ISSN 0163-4437

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0163443718823143


Through the prism of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East in 2010–2011, new media has been presented as diametrically opposed to the top-down and mistrusted. Asking the question, ‘In what ways do trust, privacy and surveillance concerns intersect and inflect the individual and collective practices of young people in networks of participation, and their sense of civic connection through old and new media?’, this article presents a nuanced understanding of the relationship between digital media and mistrust. Through the study of original case studies in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and the UAE, we examine attitudes towards and usage of digital media in creating and maintaining political, civic, cultural and artistic networks among communities. We analyse our abundant qualitative interviews, observations and ethnographic data collected to reveal the continuity of media mistrust as people move into the digital arena. As new tools continue to be launched many young people in the region remain alert to the ways in which these tools can serve or hinder individual and group aims. Beyond narratives of liberation, disillusionment or democratisation, ‘new’ media poses both mundane and surprising challenges in encouraging and engaging networks of participation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 16:37
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 01:30

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