Bloggers and the Blogosphere in Lebanon & Syria: meanings and activities

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Taki, Maha
  • Subject: UOW9

The use of blogging and its potential effects on society and politics have been widely\ud debated but the meanings and understandings that bloggers themselves hold about the\ud activity have not been sufficiently explored; indeed in Lebanon and Syria they have\ud barely been investigated at all. Through interviews with bloggers, ISPs, Internet café\ud owners and others, as well as informal online participant observation and an online\ud questionnaire, this thesis explores the structural and cultural variables that have\ud allowed Lebanese and Syrian bloggers to understand and use blogs in their own\ud specific ways. The study not only recounts what bloggers say about themselves but\ud investigates the structural variables that surround them, including government and\ud institutional policy, censorship, impediments to Internet access, historical conditions\ud under which blogging emerged, attitudes to the Internet, changing events and new\ud entrants to blogging. By its comparative nature, the project reveals how the meanings\ud that bloggers attach to their blogging activities and to their socialization with other\ud bloggers are situated in the social and historical conditions under which blogging is\ud practiced. The changing meanings blogging acquired for bloggers during the course\ud of this research illustrated its shifting and relational attributes. Thus an unexpectedly\ud complex array of interrelated factors is shown to contribute to the tool acquiring\ud certain meanings and being used in specific ways. The research uncovers differing\ud reasons between Lebanese and Syrian bloggers as to why they blog, what\ud socialisation with other bloggers means to them, and what marks of differentiation\ud such as anonymity and choice of language they use to distinguish the activity of one\ud blogger from another. Both the Lebanese and Syrian bloggers at this point belong to a\ud collective effort of other bloggers in their own countries, but the thesis also shows the\ud meanings of socialisation online and how it is regarded change over time.
  • References (5)

    Chapter II: Conceptual Framework.............................................................................9 1.1 Background ...........................................................................................................................9 1.2 Methodological Orientation ......................................................................................... 11 1.3 Theoretical Orientation ................................................................................................. 15

    Chapter II: Conceptual Framework.......................................................................... 18 2.1 Lebanon and Syria ........................................................................................................... 19 2. 1. 1 Lebanon: Meanings and Perceptions............................................................................19 2.1.2 Syria: Meanings and Perceptions .....................................................................................25 2.1.3 Lebanon and Syria: Meshes and Clashes.......................................................................29 2.2 Understanding Online Access and Inequalities..................................................... 35 2.3 “Identity” & “Community” - Online and Offline ..................................................... 39 2.3.1 The concepts of identity & community..........................................................................39 2.3.2 The concept of Community in the social sciences and Arab world....................44 2.3.3 The concepts of Habitus & Field .......................................................................................45 2.3.4 Literature on Identity online..............................................................................................48 2.3.5 Literature on community online ......................................................................................53

    Chapter VI. The 'Self' Online - Shifts in Who, Why & How.........................140 6.1 Who is Blogging: A Co mparative Approach ....................................................140 6.2 Why Blogg ers Blog ..................................................................................................145 6.2.1 Bloggers' motivations ..........................................................................................145 6.2.2 Changing motivations ..........................................................................................153 6. 3 How Blogg ers Blog ..................................................................................................156 6.3.1 Changing language choices ..................................................................................157 6.3.2 How bloggers understand anonymity .................................................................164 6.3.2.1 Anonymity and credibility ...........................................................................................168 6.3.2.2 Ambiguity of anonymity ..............................................................................................170 6.4 Co nclus ion ..................................................................................................................173

    Chapter VII - The 'Other' Online - Interaction and the Audience ...............176 7.1 The 'Nation' and Locality.......................................................................................176 7. 2 The Audi ence and Interaction .............................................................................180 7.2.1 The Audience ........................................................................................................181 7.2.2 Interaction .............................................................................................................183 7.2.3 The Audience as constraining .............................................................................186 7.3 Co nclus ion ..................................................................................................................188

    Chapter VIII: Conclusion & Reflection ............................................................190 8.1 Relational ity ..............................................................................................................190 8.2 Shifting Local Specificiti es ...................................................................................196 8.3 Boundari es of the blogosphere ............................................................................199 8.4 Refl ection o n li mitations .......................................................................................203

  • Metrics
    0
    views in OpenAIRE
    0
    views in local repository
    257
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    WestminsterResearch - IRUS-UK 0 257
Share - Bookmark