Ph.D. Candidates Gabriel Menard and Melissa Godbout, in collaboration with Professor Robert Brym, and PhD graduates Andreas Hoffbauer, and Tony Huiquan Zhang, have published an article in The British Journal of Sociology, entitled “Social media in the 2011 Egyptian uprising.” The article examines the role of new electronic communications media in the 2011 Egyptian uprising.
Gabriel Menard is a Ph.D. Candidate of sociology at the University of Toronto. He has successfully defended his dissertation proposal, entitled Explaining Variation in the Development of Regulatory Regimes: Network Neutrality and Internet Service Provision Regulations in the U.S. and UK, 1984-2015. Melissa Godbout is a Ph.D. Candidate of sociology at the University of Toronto. She has successfully defended his dissertation proposal, entitled Corruption, Employment Inconsistency, and Getting Ahead.
Robert Brym is a professor of sociology and S.D. Clark Chair in Sociology at the University of Toronto. He has conducted research on the sociology of intellectuals, social movements in Canada, Jews in Russia, and collective and state violence in Israel and Palestine. Currently, his research focuses on the democracy movement in the Middle East and North Africa. Andreas Hoffbauer and Tony Zhang both received their PhDs in 2018.
We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available here.
Brym, R., Godbout, M., Hoffbauer, A., Menard, G., & Zhang, T. H. (2014). Social media in the 2011 Egyptian uprising. The British Journal of Sociology, 65(2), 266-292. doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12080
This paper uses Gallup poll data to assess two narratives that have crystallized around the 2011 Egyptian uprising: (1) New electronic communications media constituted an important and independent cause of the protests in so far as they enhanced the capacity of demonstrators to extend protest networks, express outrage, organize events, and warn comrades of real‐time threats. (2) Net of other factors, new electronic communications media played a relatively minor role in the uprising because they are low‐cost, low‐risk means of involvement that attract many sympathetic onlookers who are not prepared to engage in high‐risk activism. Examining the independent effects of a host of factors associated with high‐risk movement activism, the paper concludes that using some new electronic communications media was associated with being a demonstrator. However, grievances, structural availability, and network connections were more important than was the use of new electronic communications media in distinguishing demonstrators from sympathetic onlookers. Thus, although both narratives have some validity, they must both be qualified.