FCJ-147 Liberation Technology and the Arab Spring: From Utopia to Atopia and Beyond.

Fibreculture Journal. 2012;(20):204-217

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Fibreculture Journal

ISSN: 1449-1443 (Online)

Publisher: Open Humanities Press

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Technology (General) | Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics: Communication. Mass media

Country of publisher: Australia

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB

 

AUTHORS

Ulises A. Mejias

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 52 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

While the tendency in the West to refer to the Arab Spring movements as ‘Twitter Revolutions’ has passed, a liberal discourse of ‘liberation technology’ (information and communication technologies that empower grassroots movements) continues to influence our ideas about networked participation. Unfortunately, this utopian discourse tends to circumvent any discussion of the capitalist market structure in which these tools operate. In this paper, I suggest that liberation technologies may in fact increase opportunities for political participation, but that they simultaneously create certain kinds of inequalities. I end by proposing a theoretical framework for locating alternative practices of participation and liberation.