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ARTICLE: Eurocentric concept of revolution cannot explain the Arab Spring event

Tunisian Revolution -Jan20 DSC_5305 by Chris Belsten, licence: CC BY 2.0

Petra Cafnik Uludağ, of Bilkent University examines how does the concept of revolution as used in the Western media affect reporting about the Arab Spring. A media framing analysis (MFA) focused on The Guardian and The New York Times (2011 – 2013) was conducted.

At first the study extracts six attributes used to define Western revolutionary events: violence, public support, economic inequality, fundamental changes, new governments, and destruction of long-standing principles.

Based on these attributes the analysis reveals that Western media used the outdated notions of revolution when reporting on Arab Spring. They drew upon the knowledge of great modern revolutions to assess contemporary revolutionary events. The Arab Spring was defined as a non-revolutionary event when it failed to satisfy the preset historically based criteria, the author claims.

The study argues that the concept of revolution as used in The Guardian and The New York Times cannot explain the Arab Spring event.

The article “Beware the winter is coming! Arab Spring in the global media” was published by Critical Studies in Media Communication and it can be found here.

Picture: Tunisian Revolution -Jan20 DSC_5305 by Chris Belsten, licence: CC BY 2.0

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