Abstract

This study aims at examining the role played by social media in empowering and encouraging the Egyptian youth for political participation. Previous studies found that traditional media have not been influential enough to drive youth's political participation. On the other hand, recent studies found that social media have a significant role in this respect. The current study investigates the possible roles of the social media in the transition to democracy in Egypt; questioning the ability of social media to act as a platform where citizens are represented and empowered enough to transform virtual online discussions to real life actions. The study was carried out on a purposive sample of 400 young Egyptians aged 18-30 based on the statistics of social media users in Egypt. A sample of opinion leaders and elites in the field was also studied. The research follows a triangulation by combining two research methodologies; survey as a quantitative method and in-depth interviews as a qualitative one. The theoretical framework is Uses and Gratifications Theory. According to the findings of the study, social media became most prominent among youth in Egypt after January 25th Revolution. The study also found that most Egyptian youth use social media on a daily basis. Egyptian youth consider social media as a platform through which they manage to share their common concerns and possibly turn it into collective real-life actions; which reflects their interest in becoming more politically involved.

Department

Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Date of Award

2-1-2014

Online Submission Date

January 2015

First Advisor

Abou Oaf/Ismail, Mervat/Amani

Committee Member 1

Allam, Rasha

Committee Member 2

ElKhalili, Sara

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

186 p.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Youth -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Electronic discussion groups -- Political aspects -- Egypt.

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.

IRB

Approval has been obtained for this item

Comments

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Mervat Abou Oaf and Dr. Amani Ismail for their continuous guidance and motivation throughout my thesis. Their availability and consistent providence of information were definitely of great help to me. I could have not imagined having better advisors and mentors for my Master’s thesis. Your encouragement for me has always pushed me to work harder. I also thank the readers of my thesis, Dr. Rasha Allam and Professor Sarah El Khalili for their time, effort and valued comments and feedback. I would also like to thank Mrs. Nesrine Azmy and Mrs. Nihal El Gammal from the Jourlism and Mass Communication Department at the American University in Cairo for being helpful and supportive all the time. I extend my thankfulness to Dr. Atta Gebril, head of the Institutiol Review Board for his prompt response and concern while obtaining the IRB approval to carry out the study. My sincere thanks also go to Professor Azza Heikal, Dean of College of Language and Communication, The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport for her concern and continuous support during my thesis. Thank you Doctor Azza, I highly appreciate all what you have done to help me out during this stage. My profound gratitude goes to my beloved mother Mrs. Ens Wahbah, and my precious father Professor Samy Tayie for providing me with care and inspiration. Your countless contributions and support throughout my life is what brought me to where I am today. No matter what I say, it will never express my love and gratitude to you. Your sacrifices are countless. I deeply thank my beloved dear husband Ahmed shaat El Kherbawy for his continuous support and sacrifices. You always have faith in my which motivated me to accomplish my thesis. I would not have done it without you. I also would like to thank my little angel Yassin Ahmed El Kherbawy for his patience and sufferings because of my being busy taking away from his time to accomplish my work. Besides, I extend my thanks to my siblings Nora Tayie and Mohamed Tayie for supporting and believing in me. May God bless both of you dear ones. Last but not least, I would like to thank my in laws, my father in law Engineer shaat El Kherbawy for his fatherly advices and my mother in law Professor Nehal Elwan for her concern and support to me during the thesis.

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