T530 African Society and Culture studies
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis project seeks to trace the power of social media in serving as a virtual civil society in the Arab world, focusing on Egypt as a case study. This study aims to explore the role of social media in mobilising Egyptian activists across generations, and particularly in reaching out to people under the age of 35 who constitute around 50 per cent of the population. Studies preceding the 2011 uprising reported that young Egyptians were politically apathetic and were perceived as incapable of bringing about genuine political changes. Drawing on a range of methods and data collected from focus groups of young people under the age of 35, interviews with activists (across generations and gender), and via a descriptive web feature analysis, it is argued that online action has not been translated into offline activism. The role of trust in forming online networks is demonstrated, and how strong ties can play a pivotal role in spreading messages via social media sites. Activists relied on social media as a medium of visibility; for those who were not active in the political sphere, social media have been instrumental in raising their awareness about diverse political movements and educating them about the political process, after decades of political apathy under Mubarak’s regime. The most important benefit of using social media is the increased political knowledge and information available regarding the political situation in Egypt, despite many young people still confining their political activities to passive acts of ‘share’, ‘like’ or ‘post’ on social media. Activists have used social media to ensure visibility of their actions, not only nationally, but also regionally and internationally. There remains a strong need for offline organization and activism by using social media as a communication avenue, not necessarily as a catalyst for changing the political process. A number of problems associated with the use of such media in political deliberations concerning Egypt are highlighted, notwithstanding the positive effects of social media on the political socialisation of young Egyptians. One such problem is the lack of sustainability in online campaigns which should ideally convert into offline collective action. It can be argued that a sustainable civil society and a truly diverse public sphere rests on more sustainable, offline action, which can indeed bring about significant changes in the Egyptian political sphere.
CitationSharbatly, A. (2014) 'Social media: a new virtual civil society in Egypt?' PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Understanding the impact of Greek and Pakistani community schools on the development of ethnic minority young persons’ cultural and academic identitiesProkopiou, Evangelia (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2007)This study investigates the processes through which attendance at a community school affects the development of cultural and academic identities of Greek/Greek-Cypriot and Pakistani ethnic minority young people who live in the United Kingdom. The development of cultural and academic identities by community school students is a relatively underesearched and undertheorized area. The theoretical framework of this study draws on developments in cultural developmental theory (Valsiner, 2000a) and the dialogical self theory (Hermans, 2001 a) to understand the cultural and dialogical nature of the processes through which ethnic minority young people develop their identities in community schools. Both theories are influenced by dynamic perspectives on development and have tried to explain psychological phenomena in relation to the sociocultural context. Episodic interviews, drawings and group work were the tools for data collection and multiple perspectives (students', parents' and teachers') were investigated. This small-scale research took place in a Greek and a Pakistani community school. The pupils, both girls and boys, were adolescents aged 13 to 18 years. The findings suggest that the young people in both groups were moving towards multiple, hybrid identities through a dialogical negotiation of aspects of differences! similarities and belonging within their majority and minority communities as well as living in a multicultural society. This negotiation resulted in a multivoiced hybrid identity which emerged through a constant positioning and re-positioning within their communities and school contexts. For the participants in the Pakistani school this negotiation was a struggle shaped by issues of racism and religious discrimination. In this context, the Pakistani school mainly aimed to increase self-confidence and strengthen the students' sense of minority cultural identity, especially the religious aspect of it, whereas the Greek school mainly aimed to preserve the community's cultural identity which was considered to be threatened by assimilation. In both community schools, a strong academic identity was endorsed which had a double function -to foster the acquisition of both knowledge and skills relevant to community education and those relevant to mainstream and higher education. This study demonstrated the value of examining community schools within contrasting communities, and its findings have implications for Psychology and Education.
Critical realism and gang violencePitts, John (Springer, 2016-05-29)Although police officers, health, welfare and educational professionals, local residents and their children in gang-affected neighbourhoods are familiar with the effects of gangs and gang crime (Pitts 2008; Palmer 2009; Harding 2014), some academics remain sceptical (Brotherton and Barrios 2011; Hallsworth 2008, 2013). They argue that notwithstanding the stylistic differences between contemporary youth cultures and those of the past, the contemporary furore surrounding violent youth gangs is akin to the demonising discourses—the ‘moral panics’—which attended the Teddy boys in the 1950s, the mods and rockers in the 1960s, the punks in the 1970s, the lager louts in the 1980s and so on. They argue that these periodic expressions of popular outrage tell us more about the anxieties of an adult public, opinion formers and the media than the behaviour of young people (Hallsworth 2011), for example, claims that the problem of the ‘gang’ is not the gang itself but the media driven moral panic and ‘gang control industry’ that surrounds it.
Systematic review of the relationship between autism stigma and informal caregiver mental healthPapadopoulos, Chris; Lodder, Annemarie; Constantinou, Georgina; Randhawa, Gurch; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2018-12-19)Families play a crucial role in determining the mental health of the autistic individual(s) they are caring for. However, the stigma associated with autism can impair caregiver health. To investigate this, empirical evidence pertaining to stigma's impact on informal caregivers' mental health was systematically reviewed. All twelve included studies (n = 1442 informal caregivers) consistently reported the impact of autism related stigma upon caregiver mental health to be significant, meaningful and complex. A new theoretical framework describing the relationship between stigma and caregiver mental health is constructed. Moderating variables include those both changeable through intervention (e.g. hopelessness, self-esteem, self-compassion) and not changeable (gender, culture, financial burden and time since diagnosis). Implications and recommendations for professionals, interventions and future research are proposed.