This thesis has a multi disciplinary approach. It integrates the study of virtual communities and media convergence research with a broader social milieu that is represented in two levels of research the micro level and the macro one. Among the significances of this thesis, is that it is considered to be the first academic investigation in the Arab World that tackles this theme of research.

Furthermore, the researcher triangulates both a quantitative and qualitative methods as the methodological framework for the thesis. The main research sample consists of 500 Egyptian youth, who are members of virtual communities.

Besides, while the knowledge gap is major theoretical framework for the thesis as it tackles a fresh perspective which is the perceived relevance of technologies as a resource for civic life, the researcher considers the Social Shaping Technology perspective (SST) as the invisible perspective behind this research.

The researcher introduces a unique angle of research in relation to virtual communities investigation as she tackles participants' experience with their virtual socialization process. She argues that 'the usage' of computer and the converged media tools along with Internet technologies have shaped their essence, helped in opening new frontiers, and evoked a blend of new forms of social ties.

In other words, computers have been shaped to become social tools; and Internet virtuality has become a valuable social space for a significant segment for the Egyptian community. The researcher has further argued that virtual communities have played a role in expanding the Egyptian public sphere, and acted as a catalyst for participant's civic inclusion. Thus, it can be perceived as another form of Egyptian social capital.


Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Hussein Amin

Committee Member 1

Hassan Ragab

Committee Member 2

Ibrahim Saleh

Document Type



171 leaves :

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Virtual reality.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Convergence (Telecommunication)


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.


Approval has been obtained for this item

Call Number

Thesis 2005/108