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Digital Middle EastState and Society in the Information Age$
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Mohamed Zayani

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190859329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190859329.001.0001

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Mapping the Digital Middle East

Mapping the Digital Middle East

Trends and Disjunctions

(p.1) 1 Mapping the Digital Middle East
Digital Middle East
Mohamed Zayani
Oxford University Press

Over the past decade or so, the digital landscape in the Middle East has changed dramatically. Technological adoption, advanced IT infrastructures, communication changes and enhanced connectivity have slowly but surely impacted the region. While much has been written about the role digital media played since the 2011 Arab uprisings, less attention has been paid to the larger digital transformations the MENA region has been experiencing and the implications of these technology-enabled transformations. This chapter focuses on the broader nature of these information and communication changes. It offers critical reflection on how the evolving communication environment and fast changing digital technologies are affecting the region and transforming practices, paying particular attention to the cultural, economic, and political implications of these ongoing changes. The chapter pays particular attention to both the opportunities and challenges the adoption of digital technologies holds for a Middle East that is aspiring to transition toward a knowledge-based economy. It shed light on significant developments and evolving dynamics that characterize the digital Middle East, but also reveals disjunctions and maps out discordances that are inherent to this emerging digital culture.

Keywords:   Digital Middle East, Information technologies, Digital technologies, Digital culture, Internet adoption, Technology-enabled transformations, Socio-political aspects, Disjunctions

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