Academica Press has published a book called "The Social Media Wars: Sunni and Shi'a Identity Conflicts in the Age of Web 2.0 and the Arab Spring" written by Magdalena Karolak.

Publication Data

Karolak, Magdalena. The Social Media Wars: Sunni and Shi'a Identity Conflicts in the Age of Web 2.0 and the Arab Spring. Academica Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-1936320714.


This monograph evaluates the role of the social media in strengthening and transforming religious identities in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Focusing specifically on Bahrain, this study assesses how the sectarian interpretation of the protests exacerbated social divisions and reverberated around the Middle East intensifying sectarian loyalties. The social media contribute to negotiation and re-construction of the collective identities of the groups involved in the 2011 uprising, which is visible through their online manifestations.

Table of Contents

1. Collective identity: preliminary examination
2. Religious identity and social conflict
2.1. Sociological theories
2.2. Psychological theories
3. Social media as new venues for identity negotiation and transformation
4. Religious identities in the Middle East
4.1. Shi'a and Sunni divide from the early days to the Bahraini "Day of Rage"
4.2. The Arab Spring and its impact on religious identities
5. Bahraini "Day of Rage" as an identity conflict
5.1. Economic, political and social causes
5.2. The role of religion in the escalation of the conflict
6. Measuring identity: methodological consideration
6.1. Content analysis
6.2. Framing and collective identity
7. Expression of Sunni and Shi'a religious collective identities on social media portals
7.1. Cognitive models
7.2. Relational comparisons
7.3. Social purposes
8. Future repercussions
8.1. Religion and rise of uncompromising attitudes
8.2. Shi'a identity: emergence of another "chosen trauma"

About the Author

Dr. Magdalena Karolak is Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Karolak received her Humanities – Linguistics from University of Silesia, Poland in 2011. She holds M.A. in Culture – Latin American Studies from Jagiellonian University, Poland as well as M.A. in Political Science – International Relations and B.A. in Teaching French as Foreign Language from Pedagogical University, Poland.

The book can be ordered online at Amazon.