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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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27 Spotlights: Arab Spring and Chinese Reality TV (Cheryl A. Casey)

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CHAPTER 27

Spotlights: Arab Spring and Chinese Reality TV

Cheryl A. Casey

A tale of two revolutions

This is a story of two revolutions. On the surface, they may seem entirely different in every way. One is full of disillusionment, anger, and discontent. The other is full of glitz, code words, and cute cat photos. One is an outright call for change. The other relies on more subtle, even passive, avenues of expression. Both, however, claim the end goal of reshaping political, economic, and social circumstances. Both rely on networked communication. And both reveal how people’s lives just might depend on whether they are connected.

Heroes among us

Literature, movies, and history itself are full of unlikely, even reluctant, heroes. From Harry Potter, Lisbeth Salander, and Luke Skywalker to Alan Turing, Rosa Parks, and Oskar Schindler, we’ve seen characters of simple, even obscure, beginnings shake the very foundations of their societies.

In December of 2010, the world witnessed another hero rise from obscurity. At 26 years old, Mohammed Bouazizi was a vegetable seller one day and a legendary symbol of revolution the next.

On that fateful December day, Bouazizi’s unlicensed vegetable cart was confiscated by a policewoman in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid. Adding insult to injury, the policewoman spat in his face and hurled insults at his dead father. Bouazizi’s attempts to lodge a complaint about this treatment were...

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