Tag Archives: collective action

[Lim’s publication] Framing Bouazizi: ‘White lies’, hybrid network, and collective/connective action in the 2010–11 Tunisian uprising

Please find below the newly published article on the 2010-2011 Tunisian uprising.

Framing Bouazizi: ‘White lies’, hybrid network, and collective/connective action in the 2010–11 Tunisian uprising

by Merlyna Lim, Arizona State University

cited as:  Lim, M. (2013)  Framing Bouazizi: ‘White lies’, hybrid network, and collective/connective action in the 2010–11 Tunisian uprising, Journalism: Theory, Praxis, and Criticism,  14(7): 921-941, doi:10.1177/1464884913478359

By delving into the detailed account of the Tunisian uprising, this article offers an explanation that sets the 2010 uprising apart from its precursors. The 2010 uprising was successful because activists successfully managed to bridge geographical and class divides as well as to converge offline and online activisms. Such connection and convergence were made possible, first, through the availability of dramatic visual evidence that turned a local incident into a spectacle. Second, by successful frame alignment with a master narrative that culturally and politically resonated with the entire population. Third, by activating a hybrid network made of the connective structures to facilitate collective action – among Tunisians who shared collective identities and collective frames – and connective action – among individuals who sought more personalized paths to contribute to the movement through digital media.


Full text is available here: http://JOU.sagepub.com/content/14/7/921.full.pdf+html

or for those who have no access via university library, the pdf copy is here.

[Publication] Raising and Rising Voices

Just out, the newest publication of the Online Collective Action Lab at ASU.

Agarwal, N., Lim, M., Wigand, R. Raising and Rising Voices: Cyber-Collective Movements in the Female Muslim Blogosphere, Business & Information Systems Engineering, DOI: 10.1007/s12599-012-0210-z [Download]

It is also available in German

Agarwal, N., Lim, M., Wigand, R. Meinungsäußerung und-bildung in sozialen Medien: Ein neuer methodischer Ansatz zur Untersuchung cybersozialer Bewegungen,Wirtschaftsinformatik, DOI: 10.1007/s11576-012-0317-3. [Download]

A preliminary (and much shorter) version of this article was presented at the ECIS conference last year. Continue reading [Publication] Raising and Rising Voices

[Publication] Clicks, Cabs, and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt, 2004–2011

My article on social media and 2011 Egypt revolt has been published. It is published as:
Due to copyright issue, however, I cannot share the published version for download from my own server, you thus should download from its original source.
For those who’re interested to read but don’t have access to the journal, I can email you the file. Just post me  your email address (send to my email or leave your address in the comment box below).
Thank you.


To deepen our understanding of the relationship between social media and political change during the Egyptian uprising of early 2011, events in Tahrir Square must be situated in a larger context of media use and recent history of online activism. For several years, the most successful social movements in Egypt, including Kefaya, the April 6th Youth, and We are all Khaled Said, were those using social media to expand networks of disaffected Egyptians, broker relations between activists, and globalize the resources and reach of opposition leaders. Social media afforded these opposition leaders the means to shape repertoires of contention, frame the issues, propagate unifying symbols, and transform online activism into offline protests. Continue reading [Publication] Clicks, Cabs, and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt, 2004–2011

[Publication] Finding Her Master’s Voice

Since end of 2007/early 2008 I’ve been interested in the Middle East online sphere and found that women activists are in the frontier of socio-political activism in the region. I managed to convince two colleagues of mine to collaborate  with me in conducting a preliminary research on one of the movement, Al-Huwaider Campaign. We wrote this piece back in mid 2010 and it’s out for publication (in computer science/information science field) this month. This is just a “preview” of a deeper-broader longitudinal research that we will conduct from August 2011 to August 2014, and serve mostly as a methodological foundation (to be developed, tested, and advanced).

Not my usual type of publication, but I think it’s good to experiment with new ways of doing. In the meantime, I hope to continue working on my own solo publications, too.

Here is an abstract of the article. We hope to come up with more analysis on female (Muslim) online activism in the future.

Continue reading [Publication] Finding Her Master’s Voice

Slate.com: Tahrir Square Was a Foreseeable Surprise?

Slate Magazine asked me to provide a short essay on the social media and Egypt revolt as part of my forthcoming talk in DC, so I did, here it is: http://www.slate.com/id/2298948/.

Meanwhile, please find below the longer version — unedited one.


The emergence of online collective actions has driven much attention and recently made headlines based on what has transpired politically in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. However, there is very little research devoted to deepen our understanding of this phenomenon. Our knowledge on these kinds of observable facts mostly relies on quick, short-term, often journalistic observations and post-event visualization of social media mapping. The tendency to either over-emphasize or under-emphasize the role of social media without any knowledge on the actual usage of these media and perceiving these uprisings as being ‘unexpected’ and ‘surprising’ indicates a lack of in-depth studies in this area. Looking from a scientific lens, what gets labeled as ‘surprise’ can also be a product of phenomenological impediments or epistemological oversight.  A deeper investigation on these movements, especially those in Egypt, shows that the historical moment happened in Tahrir square was actually an ‘imaginable surprise.’* Not that we knew when the day/date of the event or how it’d happen, but by looking closely the ongoing consolidation of oppositional actors and expansion of on/offline collective action networks over time, we could clearly see that over years there had been a tremendous growth of oppositional networks against the Mubarak regime in the country and thus could envision the outcomes that might come out of this growth. To fully understand phenomena such as the Tahrir revolt, we need to rigorously look beyond the Tahrir days, beyond the usage of Facebook and Twitter, but mostly on how the oppositional networks emerged, expanded, and were translated into a momentous mass movement, and how the Internet and social media were entangled in these processes. Continue reading Slate.com: Tahrir Square Was a Foreseeable Surprise?