Not Arabi or Ajnabi: Arab Youth and Reorienting Humor

ZIDANI SULAFA*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines a type of online content created by Arab youth that mixes local and foreign popular culture and politics. This content is examined in relation to the position of Arab youth within transnational power dynamics looking at how they build on longstanding meanings to define their own unique culture. These creations mixing Arabic and foreign (arabi–ajnabi) languages, music, images, and videos, result in content that is humorous specifically to those who are literate in both of the cultures being juxtaposed. Drawing on academic literature on humor, remix, and mash-up culture, this article looks into how this new content, labeled here as reorienting humor, becomes a way for doubly marginalized youth to be cultural agents for themselves and disrupt the direction of cultural flows in a way that creates a disturbance in the power relations and calls into question binaries such as local–global dominant–marginalized, and center–periphery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3202-3219
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume14
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Arab
  • Middle East
  • humor
  • mash-up
  • power
  • remix
  • transnational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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