Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social Media and Contentious Politics: Tunisia 2010-2013
by Ivey, Kevin A., M.A., The George Washington University, 2014, 150; 1586659
Abstract (Summary)

How do social media contribute to groups engaged in contentious politics within a domestic environment? While many have examined the influence of social media on the Arab revolutions of 2010-2011 from an international perspective, there are fewer studies examining the impact of social media within a national environment after these events. Through interviews with a group of 40 Tunisians, many of them active in contentious politics from 2010-2013, this research identifies what sources initially informed the group members of a movement as well as the sources that ultimately pushed them to become active. While information gleaned via social media certainly played a role in the decisions of many interviewees to join the movements examined in this research - unsurprising, given the high rates of internet use within the group - social media were often cited as less trustworthy than other sources and were more likely to inform the respondents of a movement's existence than to push them to act. While these findings are not unexpected, they do require that future efforts examining the role of social media in contentious politics within a country's borders differentiate how different types of sources are viewed by potential supporters and how they might contribute to mobilization in different ways.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brown, Nathan
Commitee: Siers, Rhea
School: The George Washington University
Department: International Affairs
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, North African Studies, Political science
Keywords: Contentious politics, Facebook, Social media, Tunisia, Tunisian revolution
Publication Number: 1586659
ISBN: 978-1-321-68747-7
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