Introduction: Arab Children and the Media—Epistemological Topographies of a Nascent Field

  • Tarik SabryEmail author
  • Nisrine Mansour


The introduction to this volume details the rationale, theoretical, and methodological approaches, and problematics of conducting research on and with children in Arab contexts and the diaspora. The introduction positions Arab child populations within the emerging field of Arab media and cultural studies and in relation to—and critique of—the broader Western-based field of children and media studies. It questions the muddied historical trajectory through which each of the categories of ‘Arab’, ‘child’, and ‘audiences’ is constructed and consolidated in Western and non-Western epistemologies. This critique is set against the major socio-political and cultural changes that are tearing down the foundations of Arab nationalist narratives. It is also set against today’s politico-mediascapes that followed the 1990s’ technological boom induced by Arab states’ liberalisation policies, and which turned Arab populations at home and in exile into the most mediatised populations on the globe. Today’s deeper (digital) media penetration has provoked profound and visceral changes to child audiences turned users, in terms of the rapid changes in the array of available screen technology, their varying access to it, and their viewing habits and preferences. The chapter makes the case for articulating new ontological, epistemological, and methodological parameters that allow to clarify what we mean by, and how we engage with, childhoods, Arabness, and related media technologies.


Arab children Critical theory Phenomenology Screen media Ethnography 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media and CommunicationsUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK
  2. 2.Communication and Media Research InstituteUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK

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