Social Media in Iran
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192 pages
English

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Description

Social Media in Iran is the first book to tell the complex story of how and why the Iranian people—including women, homosexuals, dissidents, artists, and even state actors—use social media technology, and in doing so create a contentious environment wherein new identities and realities are constructed. Drawing together emerging and established scholars in communication, culture, and media studies, this volume considers the role of social media in Iranian society, particularly the time during and after the controversial 2009 presidential election, a watershed moment in the postrevolutionary history of Iran. While regional specialists may find studies on specific themes useful, the aim of this volume is to provide broad narratives of actor-based conceptions of media technology, an approach that focuses on the experiential and social networking processes of digital practices in the information era extended beyond cultural specificities. Students and scholars of regional and media studies will find this volume rich with empirical and theoretical insights on the subject of how technologies shape political and everyday life.
Acknowledgments

Introduction
David M. Faris and Babak Rahimi

Part I. Societal

1. Facebook Iran: Social Capital and the Iranian Social Media
Jari Eloranta, Hossein Kermani, and Babak Rahimi

2. Gender Roles in the Social Media World of Iranian Women
Elham Gheytanchi

3. The Role of Social Media in the Lives of Gay Iranians
Abouzar Nasirzadeh

4. Disabled Iranians on Social Media: Reflections on the Empowering Experiences of the Iranian PWDs in the Blogosphere
Kobra Elahifar

Part II. Politics

5. The Politics of Online Journalism in Iran
Marcus Michaelsen

6. The Persian Blogosphere in Dissent
Arash Falasiri and Nazanin Ghanavizi

7. The Politics and Anti-Politics of Facebook in Context of the Iranian 2009 Presidential Elections and Beyond
Mohammad Sadeghi Esfahlani

8. Trans-spatial Public Action: The Geography of Iranian Post-Election Protests in the Age of Web 2.0
Reza Masoudi Nejad

9. Balatarin: Gatekeepers and the Politics of a Persian Social Media Site
Babak Rahimi and Nima Rassooli

10. Architectures of Control and Mobilization in Egypt and Iran
David M. Faris

11. Social Media and the Islamic Republic
Niki Akhavan

12. Political Memory and Social Media: The Case of Neda
Samira Rajabi

Part III. Culture

13. Iranian Cinema and Social Media
Michelle Langford

14. The Online Avant-Garde: Iranian Video Art and Its Technological Rebellion
Staci Gem Scheiwiller

Bibliography
Contributors
Index

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 20 novembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781438458847
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1648€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Social Media in Iran
Social Media in Iran
Politics and Society after 2009
Edited by
David M. Faris and Babak Rahimi
Cover photograph: “Lonely Modern Human” © Mahmoud Arefi Ghouchani
Published by State University of New York Press, Albany
© 2015 State University of New York
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
For information, contact State University of New York Press, Albany, NY
www.sunypress.edu
Production, Jenn Bennett
Marketing, Kate R. Seburyamo
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Social media in Iran : politics and society after 2009 / edited by David M. Faris and Babak Rahimi.
pages cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4384-5883-0 (hardcover : alk. paper)
ISBN 978-1-4384-5882-3 (pbk. : alk. paper)
ISBN 978-1-4384-5884-7 (e-book)
1. Social media—Iran. 2. Social media—Political aspects—Iran. 3. Facebook (Electronic resource) I. Faris, David M. II. Rahimi, Babak.
HM1206.S65423 2015 302.23’1—dc23 2015001354
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
David M. Faris and Babak Rahimi
PART I. SOCIETAL
1. Facebook Iran: Social Capital and the Iranian Social Media
Jari Eloranta, Hossein Kermani, and Babak Rahimi
2. Gender Roles in the Social Media World of Iranian Women
Elham Gheytanchi
3. The Role of Social Media in the Lives of Gay Iranians
Abouzar Nasirzadeh
4. Disabled Iranians on Social Media: Reflections on the Empowering Experiences of the Iranian PWDs in the Blogosphere
Kobra Elahifar
PART II. POLITICS
5. The Politics of Online Journalism in Iran
Marcus Michaelsen
6. The Persian Blogosphere in Dissent
Arash Falasiri and Nazanin Ghanavizi
7. The Politics and Anti-Politics of Facebook in Context of the Iranian 2009 Presidential Elections and Beyond
Mohammad Sadeghi Esfahlani
8. Trans-spatial Public Action: The Geography of Iranian Post-Election Protests in the Age of Web 2.0
Reza Masoudi Nejad
9. Balatarin: Gatekeepers and the Politics of a Persian Social Media Site
Babak Rahimi and Nima Rassooli
10. Architectures of Control and Mobilization in Egypt and Iran
David M. Faris
11. Social Media and the Islamic Republic
Niki Akhavan
12. Political Memory and Social Media: The Case of Neda
Samira Rajabi
PART III. CULTURE
13. Iranian Cinema and Social Media
Michelle Langford
14. The Online Avant-Garde: Iranian Video Art and Its Technological Rebellion
Staci Gem Scheiwiller
Bibliography
Contributors
Index
Acknowledgments
The idea of this volume was initially conceived at a workshop titled “Facebook and Iran” at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, in winter of 2012. Some chapters in this book were originally presented as papers at the workshop, later updated, and have since been rewritten, but most of the contributors were invited to submit a study on an aspect of social media in its Iranian context. In soliciting contributions, we aimed at a wide empirical and theoretical spectrum. The papers in this study have been chosen not because they display a certain degree of unity in approach, but because they all represent an original study on the impact of the Internet on Iran and beyond. We hope that the present volume will contribute to the general knowledge on the role of social media in contemporary Iranian society and also examine some conceptual themes in the general study of society and information communication technologies.
In attempting to rise to this challenge, we owe much to the critical commentary, assistance, and support of numerous colleagues and friends. Our main thanks go to the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, for providing us the opportunity to host the workshop. Special thanks to Professor Monroe Price, director of the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS), whose commitment and generosity to this volume is matched only by his outstanding scholarly contribution to the field of media and society. This volume also benefited from the insights and support of Briar Smith, associate director of CGCS at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, who provided us with much assistance, including organizing the workshop and introducing us to some of the contributors. During the duration of the workshop and beyond, we benefited from the advice, assistance, and support of Kevin Anderson, Drew Cahan, Mahmood Enayat, Libby Morgan, Laura Schwartz-Henderson, and Mehdi Yahyanejad. We thank them for their help at the workshop and after.
We would like to express our gratitude to Nadine Wassef, who took the time to review and provide critical commentary on some chapters in the volume. We wish to acknowledge the assistance of Krittika Patil, who helped locate numerous sources for the volume. Thanks also to the anonymous reviewers for the State University of New York Press for their thoughtful comments, which improved the arguments of the chapters. We also thank the individual contributors to this volume for their hard work and patience during the editorial process. Finally, we are grateful to Said Arjomand, who played an instrumental role in the publication of this volume. In particular, we express our gratitude to the State University of New York Press for providing a venue to publish works written mostly by emerging young scholars, whose unique perspectives, we believe, can have an impact on how scholars approach the relationship between media technology and society.
The system of transliteration used here is loosely based on the International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vowels that appear in transliteration approximate modern Persian pronunciation. For the sake of simplicity for the general audience, we have avoided the use of diacritical marks and technical terms.
David M. Faris, 2014 Chicago
Babak Rahimi, 2014 San Diego
Introduction
David M. Faris and Babak Rahimi
What has been the effect of the diffusion of social media technologies in the Islamic Republic of Iran? Do applications like Facebook, Flickr, and Vine undermine the grip of the country’s authoritarian elite, or does Iran’s strategy of creating a system of increasing censorship and surveillance effectively prevent the kind of online organization that threatened regimes across the region during the events of the Arab Spring? To answer this question properly requires a multidisciplinary effort, one that seeks answers beyond elite political struggles that are visible to nearly all observers, and that seeks to situate the study of social media in the particular cultural, social, political, religious, and generational contexts of the Islamic Republic, a country whose place in Western public discourse nearly always exceeds granular knowledge about its people, internal dynamics, and structures. It requires us to see social change and dissent in arenas beyond high politics and to understand Iran not as a closed system of political inputs flowing from top to bottom, but as an arena for digital contestation in venues as diverse as popular films, lifestyle blogs, and social networking sites, and around issues that go far beyond the political structures of the state to include gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and religion. In this volume, we have brought together a diverse group of scholars with specialized knowledge about the use of social media in Iran in all of its many applications and fields. This is because one of the most persistent problems in seeking to study the impact of the Internet on authoritarian societies is the cordoning off of knowledge in various disciplines from one another. What should be a strength—that sociologists, anthropologists, communications specialists, and political scientists are all working on what is effectively the same set of problems—becomes a glaring weakness, because most institutional processes reward mastery of one’s own discipline only. This volume is thus not just an attempt to understand the role of social media in Iran but also, significantly, an attempt to bridge disciplinary boundaries and to bring the knowledge of different fields to bear on a discrete question.
Social Media and Networked (Counter)publics
Before we proceed to a discussion of Iran and the chapters in this volume, it would be worthwhile to quickly review the state of scholarly knowledge about social media more generally. It is important to note that the study of social media across many disciplines has produced a body of knowledge that would be impossible to summarize in a short chapter, and that our tour here represents merely a smattering of what we see as the most relevant ideas to come out of this field. Over the past ten years, a consensus has emerged across a number of different disciplines that networks and network analysis are key to understanding the function and purpose of social media. Crucial insights from mathematics strongly suggested that the Internet is governed by what are known as “power laws” 1 —meaning that a small number of websites get an extraordinary amount of traffic, while the rest—the “long tail” coined by Wired editor Chris Anderson—get only a few hits a day, if that. As Hindman argued, this has significant impl

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