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The role of bloggers in the construction of Zimbabwean national identities : a case study of three Zimbabwean blogs during the 2008 presidential elections.

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Blogging continues to get attention in the field of communication studies for reasons such as its differences with traditional media and its various effects in societies. The first part of this dissertation provides the reader with a background of the use of the Internet in Zimbabwe highlighting how it has offered individuals a platform to publish their own content, thus increasing the documentation of the 2008 Zimbabwean elections. This research analyses how national identity and the construction thereof emerges from online personal narratives. The research also investigates the discourses shaping the country‘s identities such as humanitarian, anti-Mugabe and democratic discourses that emerge from the blogs and how these blogs communicate events that occurred during the polls. This dissertation is primarily concerned with how citizens have arguably become recognized as sources of information and how Zimbabwe is perceived. Finally, the blogs are critically examined for how they create spaces of resistance. I argue that the blogs challenged and destabilized the older patterns of identity creation within Zimbabwe. Whereas national identity constructions have been largely a result of the majority or ruling class, the production of counter discourses in the blogs suggests that at an individual level, citizens use the Internet as a platform to express their dissent and do not automatically internalize these projected national identities.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2011.


Blogs--Political aspects--Zimbabwe., Political participation--Technological innovation--Zimbabwe., Theses--Culture, communication and media studies.