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Arab Spring in Morocco: social media and the 20 February movement

Arab Spring in Morocco: social media and the 20 February movement Encouraged by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, and the Arab Spring, young Moroccans began to organise huge demonstrations across the country demanding more democracy, social justice and anti-corruption measures. The 20 February movement, named after the first demonstration held on that date in 2011, is a good illustration of one of the new social movements characterized by an intense use of technology and their diffuse membership. This article explores how protesters challenge the dominant institutions and norms in society through their struggle and how they try to create new meanings for these institutions, not only by protesting but also by using social media. We argue that using new social media is not only a vehicle for the mobilisation of activists, but also represents a form of new meaning-making for them: they participate, not only in a local sense, but also globally. Their online activities intersect and influence offline practices and vice versa, creating a continuous interaction which exerts an influence on both worlds. It is precisely this interconnectedness of offline and online worlds that is the decisive force in these movements and creates new meaning-making. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Afrika Focus Brill

Arab Spring in Morocco: social media and the 20 February movement

Afrika Focus , Volume 27 (2): 14 – Feb 25, 2014

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0772-084X
eISSN
2031-356X
DOI
10.1163/2031356X-02702002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Encouraged by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, and the Arab Spring, young Moroccans began to organise huge demonstrations across the country demanding more democracy, social justice and anti-corruption measures. The 20 February movement, named after the first demonstration held on that date in 2011, is a good illustration of one of the new social movements characterized by an intense use of technology and their diffuse membership. This article explores how protesters challenge the dominant institutions and norms in society through their struggle and how they try to create new meanings for these institutions, not only by protesting but also by using social media. We argue that using new social media is not only a vehicle for the mobilisation of activists, but also represents a form of new meaning-making for them: they participate, not only in a local sense, but also globally. Their online activities intersect and influence offline practices and vice versa, creating a continuous interaction which exerts an influence on both worlds. It is precisely this interconnectedness of offline and online worlds that is the decisive force in these movements and creates new meaning-making.

Journal

Afrika FocusBrill

Published: Feb 25, 2014

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