The paper "The Effect of Using Social Media Networks on the Political Awareness of the Saudi Youth" is an excellent example of a research proposal on sociology. Social media has experienced significant continuous growth across the Arab world and has been coupled with major shifts in regard to usage trends. As a tool that was only used for the purpose of entertainment and social networking, social media is now infiltrating in various aspects of the daily lives of a significant number of Arabs especially the youths. As a result, it is affecting the way they engage with civil society movements and interact socially.
Currently, utilisation of social media has evolved into political participation and social change. The use of the internet, as well as its tool of social media, has been used by many as an instrument in the facilitation of ideas. According to the Arab Social Media Report series (2012), there has been substantial growth in the use of Twitter and Facebook in the Arab world. This dissertation will address the extent to which the Saudi youth use social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as tools for the generation of political awareness.
It will employ established theories of communication that were created long before the growth of social media, to explain the inherent characteristics of social media that make it appealing to the Saudis youth. By analysing the way youths use social media through established communication theories, one will be able to see how the internet and social media characteristics promote the requirements for collective action. Key research questionsWhat social networks are mostly used in Saudi youth? What are the reasons behind the use of these social networks by the youth of Saudi? To what extent is the political aspect part of the experience of the social network? How do social networks raise the political awareness of Saudi youth? Background of the project and its significanceIt is with an observation of history in mind that anyone who intends to analyse the effect of social media and internet within the society must acknowledge its dialectical nature and with full knowledge of modern subjectivity.
According to the work of Hass (2011), the telegraph, television, printing press and cassettes among others are exposed to various challenges in regard to the existing order of their day.
Like these earlier technologies, social media is not decisive: the governments can repress social media or use it in a way that will motivate supporters (Kellner, 2002). In the work of Morozov (2011), he explains how the spring revolutions in the Arab world such as Tunisia and Egypt led to the promotion of budding dialogue in regard to the effect of social media and networking as a political mobilisation tool towards the pro-democracy movements and change regime.
Some political pundits, journalists as well as academics embraced social media as it served as an undeniable force for good. They stated that “ democracy is just a tweet away” (Morozov, 2011, 37) or as a Google executive in Egypt said that “ if you really want to liberate society, then just provide them with internet” (Hofheinz, 2011, 1417).
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