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The Internet in the Middle East: Global Expectations and Local Imaginations in Kuwait (Suny Series in Computer-Mediated Communication) Hardcover – October 27, 2005
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About the Author
Deborah L. Wheeler is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy.
Top Customer Reviews
I read this book on the same flight as I read Richard Wolff's Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism (City Lights Open Media) and this is the second reason I will place the book at five: while the Internet does NOT change everything for the better, especially in the case of women and youth in Kuwait, it IS "occupied," is does blur the line between the user and the producer, and it does offer a model for new forms of social and economic organization. In a strange way I could not have anticipated, these two books complement each other.
The bottom line in this excellent book is that the Internet ALONE is NOT transformative, and that ideo-cultural and socio-economic contexts can severely inhibit its impact and misdirect its utilization. Kuwait, a form of monarchic socialism in which there are both a lack of trust (great fear of speaking honestly in true name in any forum online or offline) and a government ability to censor, surveil, and punish, is a textbook case in Internet emergence under severe handicap.
I have to remind myself that this book was written before the Arab Spring and before twitter, facebook, and Internet access and anonymnity break-throught were elevated by Egyptian activists to a new level of art.Read more ›