Contention and circulation in the digital Middle East: Music video as catalyst

Marwan M. Kraidy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article explores music video as a catalyst of public discourse in the digital age through an analysis of heated online controversies fueled by Wa'd 'Arqoub (WA), a video featuring a romantic relationship against the backdrop of the plight of Iraq under U.S. occupation. It puts forth the argument that music videos stimulate public discourse because of their capacity to (1) promote ideas and make them visible, (2) conjure up several meanings and interpretations, and (3) circulate through "hypermedia space," a communicative space created by networked broadcast, mobile, and online platforms. The analysis of the circulation of contentious public discourse around WA leads to the conclusion that music videos are best understood as instruments of visibility in a symbolic economy that suffers from attention scarcity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-285
Number of pages15
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Middle East/Arab world
  • gender
  • globalization
  • music videos
  • new media
  • popular music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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