Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Downing, John

Abstract

Broadly defined as self-expressive media and communication artifacts, youth-generated media have become more ubiquitous as media-making tools became cheaper, smaller and more accessible. Moving beyond questions of media effects and consumption, this dissertation explores why and how street racing followers, graffiti artists, web activists, demonstration organizers and others are developing and circulating media artifacts in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. What motivates them? What type of media are they developing? How do youth conceptualize, execute and distribute their media? What social, economic, cultural contexts are affecting these productions? And what are the implications of youth-generated media on Arab discourse? Drawing on six months of fieldwork, I use a multidisciplinary comparative approach to advance an underrated issue in global media studies. To meet this objective, the dissertation is organized in eight chapters. The first three chapters provide theoretical underpinnings and methodological considerations for an empirically based and theoretically inspired framework to study youth-generated media. Chapters four and five examine specific recent social movements in Lebanon (Independence 05 and July 06 War); while chapters six and seven analyze specific discourses related to Saudi youth leisure time (al-Faragh) and employment policies (Saudization). In their totality, these cases are not an exhaustive list but an illustrative representation of youth-generated media `pulsed' at a particular juncture in Arab youth history.

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