Digital publicness: Reflections on youth engagement in the Middle East

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This article is featured in Orient II/2024.

This article examines the interplay between youth, technologies and social change in the Middle East, exploring how the Arab youth navigate the digital landscape within various contexts that reconfigure familiar paradigms and complicate the youth’s relationship with technologies. It highlights digital publicness as a practice, a pursuit and a value around which youth (re-)negotiate notions of individualism and collectivism, integration and marginalisation, individual expression and community belonging.

Joe F. Khalil is Associate Professor of Global Media in residence at Northwestern University Qatar. His most recent co-authored book is The Digital Double Bind: Change and Stasis (Oxford University Press, 2024) with Mohamed Zayani. He is also co-editor with Gholam Khiabani, Tourya Guayybess and Bilge Yesil of The Handbook of Media and Culture in the Middle East (Blackwell-Wiley, forthcoming).

Mohamed Zayani is Professor of Critical Theory at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. His works include The Digital Double Bind (Oxford University Press, 2024; with Joe F. Khalil); A Fledgling Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2022); Digital Middle East (Oxford University Press, 2018); Bullets and Bulletins (Oxford University Press, 2016; with S. Mirgani); Networked Publics and Digital Contention (Oxford University Press, 2015); The Culture of Al Jazeera (McFarland, 2007; with S. Sahraoui); and The Al Jazeera Phenomenon (Pluto Press, 2005).

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