Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Sub-Department

College of Information and Communications

First Advisor

Kenneth Campbell

Abstract

In the last decade, the Arab region has witnessed many political and social changes. Parts of these changes were initiated by millennials seeking social change to elevate the quality of life in their country and themselves. In one particular country, Kuwait, youth have pursued social change by advocating a freer lifestyle and regime change in government and institutions. Manshoor, an Arab language blog launched in November 2016 by two Kuwaiti liberals, Jassim Qamis and Ali Al-Nessif, stimulates an open conversation on a wide range of issues, including controversial ideas in the region such as scrutinizing some practices and beliefs of Islam and Islamists, advocating open discussion of sexual issues and touting positive outcomes of the use of drugs. Manshoor hopes for a social movement that does not impose the founders' beliefs, but rather encourages youth to contemplate or reject forced and unwanted restrictions on lives and thoughts and accept the people who choose to do that.

This thesis seeks to understand the blog’s role in creating the youth-driven movement, or sustaining it as an ongoing movement. As such, using frame alignment process, the thesis seeks to identify the values and culture Manshoor’s founders are trying to instill in the society. It also seeks to contextualize Manshoor's attempt within Kuwaiti society as a case study of how such media frames as part of a social movement may or may not be successful in other societies, particularly liberal frames in conservative societies like Kuwait. Specifically, the thesis addresses how Manshoor's founders are aligning or appropriating frames for a successful the movement. Frames and frame alignment are determined through a textual analysis on a sample of controversial posts and in-depth interviews with the founders and movement's leading actors.

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