Dr. Ralph D. Berenger
Communication theories applied to recent risings in the Middle East
Fatima Yaseen, Mohamed Alesayi, Shahd Anis
In the recent few years people from across the Arab world have chose to show their voice against the oppression that they endured for decades. Events that filled us with hope and despair, pride and pain. Many good, honest, defenseless, men, women, and children where were put through so much for the fall of the vile few. Puppeteers sitting on their gem encrusted thrones as their loyal, stringed, cold, wooden henchmen paint the streets with fear as they leave their humanities safely preserved back at their homes. Luckily, though many people have sacrificed the unthinkable for the sake of the cause, the loathsome monsters were dragged down to the floor as every person they oppressed clinches on their snug, pressed, clean presidential attire and pulls with whatever strength the people have left that was not striped out of them. As they inevitably lose their titles in due time, people across the world gather to watch in suspense, cheering, hoping, imagining a world where they would cease to have power over the weak. Due to many misconceptions of the uprisings in the Middle East, or as some like to call it the Arab Spring, many believe that social media is the main cause behind the uprisings. As the events started to happen, they resulted in unstable environments for the reporters to attend and gather information, as well as the local channels neglected to share those events, so they turned to the next best thing, social media. We live in a communication era, and with mobile phone being able to record, stream, and send information instantly from anywhere, an act known as Mobilization, people could not help but share the horrid events. Mobilization is not the main reason behind the Arab Spring even though it played a major role in spreading awareness about the protests and the demonstrations.
Various utilizations of social media have caused the Arab world to rise up to a new level of freedom and develop a democratic environment. The implementation of communication into the revolution to establish first in Tunisia and then in Egypt which relates back to mass communication theories that have being developed since then. In fact, the social mobilization theory is defined as in involving all kinds of mass media communications along with the process that engages and encourages a wide array of people at local or high levels to interact and raise awareness and demand for particular development aim. This happens through online dialogues. The resource of the theory in particular is not created by only one theorist, but it can be divided into two categories in which: 1- John D. McCarthy and Mayer Zald are the originators and major advocates of the classic entrepreneurial (economic) version of this theory. And 2- Charles Tilly and Doug McAdam are proponents of the political version of resource mobilization.
In the opening months of 2011 the world witnessed a series of disruptive events in Middle East which is today known as “The Arab uprisings” (Media and the Arab uprisings of 2011) . The theory applies to different parts of the Arab region beginning with Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Oman, Algeria, and recently Saudi Arabia. Obviously those are the countries that have witnessed huge change, rebelling against depression and the anti-democratic regimes that have being followed through the previous years. Not only that but we have to bear in mind not all of the Arab countries engaged social communication aiming to succeed to rebel, but some of them have delivered the goods. In Tunisia it started up when Mohammed Bouazizi burned himself in a public street in a desperate act of defiance following his denied attempts to work as a street vendor to support his family. The scene of the man burning has captured mass attention to take...