- Copyright Page
- About the contributors
- Communication in the Networked Age
- Networks and Information Flow: The Second Golden Age
- Rebooting Mass Communication: Using Computational and Network Tools to Rebuild Media Theory
- Propagation Phenomena in Social Media
- Dynamical Processes in Time-Varying Networks
- Partition-Specific Network Analysis of Digital Trace Data: Research Questions and Tools
- How Can Computational Social Science Motivate the Development of Theories, Data, and Methods to Advance Our Understanding of Communication and Organizational Dynamics?
- The New Dynamics of Organizational Change
- Online Communication by Emergency Responders during Crisis Events
- Studying Populations of Online Communities
- Gender and Networks in Virtual Worlds
- Understanding Social Dynamics Online: Social Networks, Social Capital, and Social Interactions
- The Analysis of Social Capital in Digital Environments: A Social Investment Approach
- Multiplying the Medium: Tie Strength, Social Role, and Mobile Media Multiplexity
- Revolutionizing Mental Health with Social Media
- The Neuroscience of Information Sharing
- Political Communication Research in a Networked World
- Modeling and Measuring Deliberation Online
- Moving Beyond Sentiment Analysis: Social Media and Emotions in Political Communication
- Dynamics of Attention and Public Opinion in Social Media
- A Satisficing Search Model of Text Production
- Studying Networked Communication in the Middle East: Social Disrupter and Social Observatory
- Mobile Space and Agility as the Subversive Partner
- One Foot on the Streets, One Foot on the Web: Analyzing the Ecosystem of Protest Movements in an Era of Pervasive Digital Communication
- Our Stage, Our Streets: Brooklyn Drag and the Queer Imaginary
- Digital Mapping of Urban Mobility Patterns
- Research on Mobile Phone Data in the Global South: Opportunities and Challenges
- The Ethics of Digital Research
- Digital Trace Data and Social Research: A Proactive Research Ethics
- A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Web Data Collection
- Responsible Research on Social Networks: Dilemmas and Solutions
- Unintended Consequences of Using Digital Methods in Difficult Research Environments
- Ethical Issues in Internet Research: The Case of China
- The Past and Future of Communication Research
Abstract and Keywords
Digital infrastructure has been rapidly embraced in the Arab Middle East and North Africa in the last decade, opening a unique window for computational social science and network data science scholars. However, there are currently two coexisting social and economic realities in the region, which result in very different usages and dynamics of networked communication: countries with chronic civil unrest in which digital media have largely served as mobilization tools (e.g., Tunisia, Egypt), and relatively stable and wealthy societies that face social change and economic hyper-development (e.g., Qatar, Kuwait). Given such diversity across the region, how and why should social scientists study digital networks in the Middle East? What can digital networks teach us about the social and political aspects of the modern Middle East? In sum, while claims about digital technologies’ impacts across the region have been critiqued for being speculative and overblown, we suggest that digital technologies have instead broadened our ability to understand ongoing transformations among Arab states and societies.
Javier Borge-Holthoefer is a Senior Researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain.
Muzammil M. Hussain is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Ingmar Weber is the research director of the Social Computing Group at the Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar.
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