ICA Honors Prof. Marwan Kraidy’s New Book, Reality Television and Arab Politics

Reality Television and Arab Politics: Contention in Public Life, by Annenberg’s Marwan M. Kraidy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication, has won the “Best Book Award” from the International Communication Association’s Division of Global Communication and Social Change. Prof. Kraidy will receive his award during ICA’s annual meeting this year in Singapore.

About the book:
Based on a wealth of primary data collected over five years, Reality Television and Arab Politics analyzes how reality television stirred an explosive mix of religion, politics, and sexuality, fueling heated polemics over cultural authenticity, gender relations, and political participation in the Arab world. The controversies, Prof. Kraidy argues, are best understood as a social laboratory in which actors experiment with various forms of modernity, continuing a long-standing Arab preoccupation with specifying terms of engagement with Western modernity. Women and youth take center stage in this process. Against the backdrop of dramatic upheaval in the Middle East, this book challenges the notion of a monolithic "Arab Street" and offers an original perspective on Arab media, shifting attention away from a narrow focus on al-Jazeera, toward a vibrant media sphere that compels broad popular engagement and contentious political performance.