The project examined the role that the internet and digital networks can and do play in helping what might be characterized as traditional young Arab audiences to emancipate themselves from the gatekeeping functions of print and broadcast media and to co-create their own media cultures. One of the key aims was to examine how young Arab early adopters use digital platforms to widen the scope of what they consider to be social, cultural and economic freedom; and in tandem, how one might conceptualise their increasing media literacy and criticality. In this context, this project investigated the extent to which the internet and new digital platforms can be or already are transformed into networking communities of civic participation, and what power these networks could be said to have in the current and future transformation of sociopolitical and cultural aspects of Arab societies in offline contexts.
This research thus also proposed to evaluate and theorise Arab youth’s civic engagement and public participation, not only in the narrow domain of institutional politics, but in a broader sense that encompasses artistic and cultural consumption, cultural remixing and the production of popular culture as an emerging civic participatory culture.
This project forms part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, funded by the Emirates Foundation.
Shakuntala Banaji | Principal Investigator
Shakuntala is Associate Professor in Media and Communications and Programme Director for the Masters in Media, Communication and Development at LSE.
Mohammed Ibahrine | Co-Principal Investigator
Mohammed is Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication at the American University of Sharjah (AUS).
Cristina Moreno Almeida | Associate Researcher
Cristina is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London and Visiting Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre.
Monica Ibrahim | Research Assistant
Monica has recently completed her Master’s in Media, Communication and Development at LSE.