Cyrine Amor

Article

I am currently completing a PhD funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) at Goldsmiths’ Department of Media & Communications, where I also work as Associate Lecturer.

My thesis centres on everyday social media practices in the post-revolution context of Tunisia, and it is co-supervised by Nick Couldry and Marianne Franklin.

I am interested in the implications new media may have for an understanding of ‘ordinary’ citizens’ power in relation to socio-political change, and how mediated boundaries between private and public, individual autonomy and group authority, are negotiated in different cultural settings.

Before joining the academic world, I worked in script development at the UK Film Council, and as media researcher and analyst at Screen Digest. I hold a BA in Film & Video from the London College of Communication (LCC / University of the Arts London) and MA in Media & Communications from Goldsmiths.

PhD project: Networks as Culture: Reframing the role of social media after the Tunisian revolution

New media’s common framing as source of radical social and political change has been challenging traditional conceptualizations within media studies over recent years. The intensely publicized role of social networking sites at the onset of the Arab uprisings has served to support at times overly linear perspectives on the relationship between media, technology and societal processes.

Whilst unquestionably giving rise to new forms of communicative interactions, the theorization of social media’s role can benefit from detailed empirical contextualization in non-Western cultural settings in order to test its transformational potential. Of particular relevance in this regard is the connection between individual citizens and their autonomy - in the networked online sphere - from various forms of social authority and their delineation of collective socio-political identities.

My thesis assesses these issues in the context of post-revolution Tunisia. It asks what ordinary social media users make of the new communicative possibilities at hand as sources of knowledge, means of political engagement and participation, and sites of collective identity construction. The study focuses on developments in the country between January 2011 and November 2013, with specific focus on social networking site Facebook, as it dominates social media use in Tunisia during this transitional period.