Thesis: Changing Patterns of Political Participation among Palestinian Youth: The Role of Social Media and Online Communications.
The role of social media in civil mobilization and its consequent transformations in society and politics present an array of pressing questions to sociology and political science. These rapid and multi-faceted developments call to re-think forms and patterns of political participation.
This research aims to investigate the role of social media and online communications in creating and re-creating patterns of political participation among the young generation in Palestinian society, on the national level (Palestinian) in its transnational contexts (regional and international).
The existing research on Palestinian society and political participation has so far focused on the periods of the First and the Second Intifada, started in 1987 and 2000 respectively. The emergence of current research on the impact of social media on political and civic cultures is certainly expected to grow. The Palestinian society presents a special case study, considering (a) the historical context of long struggle against occupation including two popular uprisings before the emergence of social media (b) the fragmentation of Palestinian people and territories and (c) that the Israeli occupation is the ultimate context which impacts and even controls much of socio-political changes and developments. This research can therefore reveal additional uses of the Internet for political participation, which may be less evident in other countries.
This research corresponds with scientific literature on political participation of young generations, Civic engagement in the era of online communications, Palestinian political and media culture and the impact of the internet.