Mohamed Zayani’s Book Reaps an ASA Book Prize

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CIRS Fellow Mohamed Zayani has been awarded the 2017 “Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology Book Award” from the American Sociological Association (ASA). Zayani’s Book is titled Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia (Oxford University Press, 2015).  


The award was conferred by the Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology (CITAMS) section of the ASA at the Association’s 112th Annual Convention, which was held in Montréal, Canada, August 12-15, 2017. 


Based in Washington, DC, the ASA is the largest professional association of sociologists with over 13,000 members.  The theme of this year’s meeting was “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion. CITAMS, which administers the award, is a vibrant section of the ASA that focuses on the sociology of communication and the social aspects of digital technologies. 


This is the third award Zayani’s book reaps. Previously, it won the Global Communication and Social Change Best Book Award, from the International Communication Association (ICA), and the Toyin Falola Book Award, from the Association of the Global South Studies (AGSS).


Networked Publics and Digital Contention is part of the Oxford Studies in Digital Politics Series. “That Mohamed Zayani’s book has won three awards, from three different associations, attests not just to the impact of his work, but also to its breadth. It’s a great achievement,” said Oxford University Press editor Angela Chnapko.


Focused on the Arab uprisings, Networked Publics and Digital Contention examines how digital technologies have impacted political socialization and redefined politics within authoritarian contexts. Based on extensive fieldwork, the book explores how popular everyday forms of politics that are woven into new information technologies and communication habits have enabled networked publics to negotiate agency, reconfigure political action, and reimagine citizenship.


Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California, described Zayani’s book as “one of the best analyses of the social movements that led to the transformation of the Arab world, and a major contribution to the understanding of social movements of the digital age.”


Networked Publics and Digital Contention is one of three book projects, supported by Georgetown University’s Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), that Zayani has recently published on the impact of information and communication technologies on state and society in a region that is in the throes of change. His other work includes Bullets and Bulletins: Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings (with Suzi Mirgani; Oxford UP, 2016) and Digital Middle East: State and Society in the Information Age (Oxford UP, 2017).