The Discourse of the Egyptian January 25th Revolution: The Facebook Generation’s Perspective

  • Karel Černý
Keywords: Revolution, Egypt, grounded theory, Twitter, discourse, political cultures of opposition, dignity, secular nationalism

Abstract

This qualitative empirical study deals with the Egyptian revolutionary discourse published on Twitter by the revolutionaries from the so-called Facebook generation during the January 25th revolution. Their Twitter accounts have been analysed using methods based on grounded theory. As a result, nine general categories that they work with have been identified (nationalism, pan-Arabism, historical mission, national unity, national polarization, moral superiority, civil society, Mubarak as a scapegoat, and uncertainity). We also identified the relations among them and the main general categories of the discourse: secular nationalism, dignity and empowerment. The framing of the revolutionary action in terms of secular nationalism and dignity (empowerment) has motivated the revolutionaries. These two narratives provided powerful meanings for their actions and repertoires of contention, which would be highly improbable without such a framing. At the same time such narratives represent a culture of resistance rather than a coherent ideology. The revolutionaries’ culture of resistance is not building on notions of political Islam, but on the former regime’s discourses of secular nationalism and citizenship (the civil state). However the revolutionaries used such concepts that were produced by the regime against the regime itself.

Author Biography

Karel Černý

born in 1980, he is a sociologist from the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University in Prague. He focuses on theories of social conflict and social change. His research interests are the contemporary Middle East and migration, and the integration of people from predominantly Muslim societies in the West, including the Czech Republic. His recent monographs include Yazidis: A Community on the Run (2017) and Instability in the Middle East (2017).

Section
Research Articles