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The Arab Spring and Social Media Research

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The Arab Spring and Social Media Research
The Arab Spring and
Social Media Research
Mandy Terc
10 March 2012
Assignment Prompt
Final Presentations & Papers:
Students will build upon the in-class unit on linguistic
strategies of the Arab Spring through their final projects.
Each student will select one country or topic from recent
regional events, conduct original research on it and use
one or more concepts presented during the course to
analyze their topic.
Primary source data may be drawn from Internet
sources, media coverage, public Facebook sites,
signage and other public sources. Students who
speak Middle Eastern languages will be encouraged
to use their knowledge. In-class presentations will
focus on raw data and allow for feedback and advice
in shaping the final paper and providing students
assistance in writing about primary source material.
The final paper will be approximately a 12-page,
double-spaced essay that effectively uses theoretical
concepts from the class to analyze linguistic
components of recent events in the Middle East.
Key Themes in Protest Art
1) The use of local and global symbols.
2) The combination of images, slogans and
several languages to communicate
grievances and beliefs.
3) The various potential audiences.
4) The use of art to communicate.
Key Themes in Protest Video
1) The often anonymous, unverifiable origins.
2) The range of production values.
3) The ability to record events that are
otherwise inaccessible.
4) The many aspects of protest witnessed
(singing, signage, marches, violence).
Key Themes in Social Media
1) The role(s) that young people play in
organizing and shaping resistance.
2) The ability of local groups to connect to
global movements/ideas.
3) The common protest themes in both the US
and globally.
4) The use of social media (Facebook, Twitter)
to catalyze and record historic events.
Key Themes in Cartoons
1) The ability to communicate across
languages and cultures.
2) The satirical nature of the content.
3) The reliance on images and symbolism to
communicate political messages.
Concluding Thoughts
1) Gender
2) Class
3) Space: public vs. private
4) Technology
5) Globalization
6) Power: formal vs. informal
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