Youth, ICTs, and Democracy: Recent presentations


A recent TASCHA project, in the research area of Social Movements, explored how Facebook and social media was used in Egypt before and during the Arab Spring. The Youth, ICTs, and Democracy in Egypt project drew on social movement theory and emphasizes various lines of analysis, asking the main research question, how did the use of ICTs impact the evolution of the youth movement and the trajectory of the Egyptian revolution? Findings from this research have recently been presented at multiple venues by members of the project team.

Team members of this project, led by TASCHA’s Maria Garrido, have collected and coded a series of Facebook posts, blogs,  newspapers, and interviews with key actors to tease out the different roles social media played in the trajectory of the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt. Findings from this research have recently been presented at multiple venues by members of the project team. Details on and links to these presentations can be found below, in chronological order.

October 19, 2012: Association for Internet Researchers Conference, Manchester, UK

  • Title: Appropriating Facebook: Egypt’s April 6th Youth Movement through the lens of a social networking site (DOWNLOAD presentation)
  • Citation: Garrido, M., Baron, L.F., Abokhodair, N., Lysenko, V., & Maziad, M. (2012). Appropriating Facebook: Egypt’s April 6th Youth Movement through the lens of a social networking site. Presented at the Association of Internet Researchers 13 (AoIR13), Manchester, UK.
  • Presenters: Luis Fernando Baron and Norah Abokhodair
  • Abstract:  On January 25th, 2011, Egyptian youth spearheaded a popular revolution, as they became an important part of a societal force that lead to the demise of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. For 18 days, Tahrir Square has captivated the world’s attention, becoming a global household name for social mobilization, as it stood as an icon for peoples’ demands for their rights to “freedom and dignity.” In making this historical event happen, Egyptian youth utilized old and new media, online spaces, and offline street presence. These different tools became conduits for effective organizing, documenting, and communicating their revolution, either nationally to fellow citizens or worldwide to a global audience. This paper aims to delineate how and why one element of that collective massive social mobilization, represented in the April 6th Youth Movement has evolved from the purely online group gathered on a social networking site to the important protest force that succeeded in its task to mobilize offline greater masses of people during the revolution.

October 30, 2012: Institute for Prospective Technology Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain

  • Title: Appropriating Facebook: Egypt’s April 6th Youth Movement through the lens of a social networking site (DOWNLOAD presentation)
  • Citation: Garrido, M., Baron, L.F., Abokhodair, N., Lysenko, V., & Maziad, M. (2012). Appropriating Facebook: Egypt’s April 6th Youth Movement through the lens of a social networking site. Presented at the Institute for Prospective Studies (IPTS) Research Seminar, Seville, Spain.
  • Presenter: Maria Garrido
  • Abstract:  On January 25th, 2011, Egyptian youth spearheaded a popular revolution, as they became an important part of a societal force that lead to the demise of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. For 18 days, Tahrir Square has captivated the world’s attention, becoming a global household name for social mobilization, as it stood as an icon for peoples’ demands for their rights to “freedom and dignity.” In making this historical event happen, Egyptian youth utilized old and new media, online spaces, and offline street presence. These different tools became conduits for effective organizing, documenting, and communicating their revolution, either nationally to fellow citizens or worldwide to a global audience. This paper aims to delineate how and why one element of that collective massive social mobilization, represented in the April 6th Youth Movement has evolved from the purely online group gathered on a social networking site to the important protest force that succeeded in its task to mobilize offline greater masses of people during the revolution.

December 4, 2012: University of Washington Change Seminar, Seattle, USA

  • Title: Human and political grievances for mobilization: Differential roles of Facebook during the Egyptian Arab Spring (DOWNLOAD presentation)
  • Citation: Baron, L.F., Abokhodair, N., & Garrido, M. (2012). Human and political grievances for mobilization: Differential roles of Facebook during the Egyptian Arab Spring. Presented at the University of Washington Change Seminar, Seattle, USA.
  • Presenters: Luis Fernando Baron and Norah Abokhodair
  • Abstract: In the field of development, social movements have long been recognized as key actors in the process of social change. Engaging in range of struggles, social movements are contesting traditional centers or power while transforming the nature of political participation and collective action. Despite this recognition, the intersection between social movements, ICTs, and social change still remains an understudied area of inquiry. This paper analyzes the different roles of Facebook during the protests that lead to the resignation of President Mubarak in Egypt and opened a new sociopolitical period in the country. The analysis is based on qualitative coding of two Facebook pages in Arabic developed by some of the most important groups involved in these mobilizations: We Are All Khaled Said and the April 6th Youth Movement. The study found that these two pages were crucial in 1) building political awareness and mobilizing youth to take the streets; 2) creating bridges between online spaces and the streets; and 3) raising political awareness on the meaning of the revolution and democracy in the country. This study is based on a larger project that mapped the trajectory of the April 6th Youth Movement in Egypt.

Members of the team will also be presenting a paper at the International Federation for Information Processing’s (IFIP) 12th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries in May 2013.


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