Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to study cyber-activism as a new social phenomenon in the context of the Arab revolutions particularly in Egypt and Yemen from two different perspectives. The first one is a global perspective in which I intend to situate this new social phenomenon called “cyberactivism” in its spatial-temporal context in order to explore the following questions: What are the possibilities and the limitations of cyberactivism as a new site of resistance particularly in the context of Egypt and Yemen? To what extent can cyberactivism challenge the dominant logics which enabled the emergence to these possibilities within communicative capitalism? Are there new possibilities of resistance that exist within or outside these hegemonic logics? This thesis postulates that linking cyberactivism with capitalist production and labour relations is crucial to answer the previous questions given that the same production and reproduction processes structure define both social relations and these new technologies. Hence, cyberactivism, this thesis argues, constitutes a new site of resistance that has emerged out of these new hegemonic cognitive and immaterial practices of laboring. Secondly, this thesis explores cyberactivism as a new social phenomenon through a New Social Movements (NSM) perspective. It asks the following questions, can cyberactivism in the context of the so-called “Arab Spring”, particularly in Egypt and Yemen, be a new kind of social movement that can be studied and traced within the NSM framework? What are the potentials of such a perspective particularly in constructing new political subjects? In order to answer these questions this thesis engages and compares the NSM logics and theories with the nature and dynamics of the cyberactivism in an attempt to conceptualize a theoretical framework for this new phenomenon in order to further our understanding as well as capture its possibilities and limitations.

Department

Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies

Degree Name

MA in Gender & Women's Studies

Date of Award

2-1-2016

Online Submission Date

July 2018

First Advisor

Rieker, Martina

Committee Member 1

Sabea, Hanan

Committee Member 2

Terrell, Jennifer

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

141 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

IRB

Approval has been obtained for this item

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