Social media, protest cultures and political subjectivities of the Arab spring

Article English OPEN
Markham, Tim (2014)

This article draws on phenomenological perspectives to present a case against resisting the objectification of cultures of protest and dissent. The generative, self-organizing properties of protest cultures, especially as mobilized through social media, are frequently argued to elude both authoritarian political structures and academic discourse, leading to new political subjectivities or ‘imaginaries’. Stemming from a normative commitment not to over-determine such nascent subjectivities, this view has taken on a heightened resonance in relation to the recent popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. The article argues that this view is based on an invalid assumption that authentic political subjectivities and cultures naturally emerge from an absence of constraint, whether political, journalistic or academic. The valorisation of amorphousness in protest cultures and social media enables affective and political projection, but overlooks politics in its institutional, professional and procedural forms.
  • References (20)
    20 references, page 1 of 2

    Agathangelou AM, Soguk N (2011) 'Rocking the Kasbah: Insurrectional Politics, the "Arab Streets", and Global Revolution in the 21st Century' Globalizations 8(5): 551-558.

    Appadurai A (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Axford B (2011) 'Talk About a Revolution: Social Media and the MENA Uprisings', Globalizations 8(5): 681-686.

    Bennett WL, Segerberg A (2012) 'The Logic of Connective Action: Digital Media and the Personalization of Contentious Politics', Information, Communication & Society 15(5): 739-768.

    Butler J (1997) Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. London: Routledge.

    Castells M (2009) Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Christensen C (2011) 'Discourses of Technology and Liberation: State Aid to Net Activists in an Era of "Twitter Revolutions', The Communication Review14(3): 233-253.

    El-Nawawy, Khamis S (2012) 'Political Activism 2.0: Comparing the Role of Social Media in Egypt's “Facebook Revolution” and Iran's “Twitter Uprising”', CyberOrient 6(1).

    Elseewi TA (2011) 'A Revolution of the Imagination', International Journal of Communication 5: 1197-1206.

    Rinke EM, Röder M (2011) 'Media Ecologies, Communication Culture, and Temporal-spatial Unfolding: Three Components in a Communication Model of the Egyptian Regime Change', International Journal of Communication 5: 1273-1285.

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Birkbeck Institutional Research Online - IRUS-UK 0 666
Share - Bookmark