Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Onyebadi, Uche

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF MOHAMMAD ALOTAIBI, for the Master of Arts degree in Media Theory & Research, presented on March 31, 2015 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: PUBLIC DISCOURSE IN KUWAIT: EXAMINING THE USE OF TWITTER AND DIWANIYA AMONG YOUNGER GENERATION IN THE DECEMBER 2012 KUWAIT PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Uche Onyebadi This thesis assessed public discourse among the younger generation in Kuwait during the country's Parliamentary elections in December, 2012. The research question examined the extent to which Twitter, as a new form of social medium, became an alternative to the more traditional diwaniya, as a forum for discussing salient public issues among the younger generation. The methodological approach in this study was a combination of the online survey instrument and semi-structure interviews. Uses and Gratifications served as the theoretical framework for the study. The major finding in the study shows that Twitter was indeed an alternative to diwaniya as a forum for public discussion and information seeking among the younger generation in Kuwait during the election. Also important is the finding that there was no statistically significant difference in the use of Twitter and diwaniya among younger generation women in that electioneering period. Finally, it was found that the level of education was a significant factor among the younger generation in their use of Twitter and their attendance of diwaniya for information gathering and discussion, as a political activities unfolded in Kuwait during the election.

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