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Can social media act as a platform for counter hegemony - Research Paper Example

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The role played by social media during the 2011 Egyptian revolution Name University Course Tutor Date Introduction The 2011 Egyptian revolution was an incredible accomplishment by its citizens and an extremely inspiring indication of power of peaceful demonstrations or protest…
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Can social media act as a platform for counter hegemony
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Download file to see previous pages Social media channels did not cause uprising but played a significant role in sharing information. This paper seeks to discuss the primary role performed by social media during the 2011 Egyptian revolution (Attia, Assaf, El, Kaldas, Mo, & El-Shazly, 2011). It will explore the question whether the social media acted as a platform for counter hegemony. Finally, it will analyze theories discussing the linkage between social media and power, and how social media challenged the authority of Mubarak. Discussion Social media acts as the XXI century pamphlet, a way that individuals who are frustrated and unsatisfied with the status quo can plan and organize themselves and stage or coordinate protest. There are various theories that discuss the relationship between social media and power, for example, Antonio Gramsci and Marxism theory. Hegemony is a term that emanated from Karl Marx writing. It was intellectualized by a Marxist social philosopher, Antonio Gramsci, who lived in Italy. Gramsci subscribed to Marxist idea of the historical dialectic. This implies that based on the classic Marxist theories, communities or societies must change over time from oppressive systems of the economy to highly liberating ones till the society finally attains the Utopian communism state (Sowers & Toensing, 2012). Marx asserted that capitalism was a subordinate system of economy because of the unequal wealth and power distribution among the few powerful individuals. Moreover, he argued that ultimately, the capitalism would be overthrown by the masses and shift to the system that is less oppressive. Gramsci employs “hegemony” to theorize the fundamental condition for effective overthrow of both the powerful (bourgeoisie) by the proletariat (ruled) and its allies (for instance, the peasantry), and the bourgeois power structures in the Western European states during XIX and XX century. Gramsci’s “hegemony” is the process of intellectual and moral leadership in which subordinate or dominated classes of post 1870 Western European industrial nations consent to their own suppression by the powerful classes, rather than being coerced or forced into accepting inferior ranks. According to Gramsci, hegemony is a form of control practiced by a dominant or powerful group. In the Marxist idea of a group dominating production means; Gramsci uses “essential group” to represent the “ruling class” (Terryn, 2011). For him, the Western European nations dominant class represented the bourgeoisie, who according to the Communist Manifesto are “the class or group of modern Capitalists, wage labour employers and the owners social production means, whereas, the vital subordinate class represented the proletariat, “the group of modern wage-laborers, without means personal production means, and thus, must sell their labour power to survive. Gramsci’s hegemony use can only be realized in the light of some of the concepts he established and those of the Civil Society and the state. Gramsci argues that media promotes powerful or dominant powers structures in his broadly used hegemony theory. In media studies, the term hegemony is defined as ways in which media motivates individuals to consent to the status quo structures of power. In the case of the Egyptian revolution, Gramsci and Marxism theory reveals that the authoritarian leadership did their best to block and cut Internet access by the mass. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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