Cutting the Face: Kinship, State and Social Media Conflict in Networked Jordan
Journal of Legal Anthropology
© 2018 Berghahn. This version available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 1 June 2020 in compliance with publisher policy
The local uptake of new media in the Middle East is shaped by deep histories of imperialism, state building, resistance and accommodation. In contemporary Jordan, social media is simultaneously encouraging identification with tribes and undermining their gerontocratic power structures. Senior men stress their own importance as guarantors (‘faces’), who restore order following conflicts, promising to pay their rivals a large surety if their kin break the truce. Yet, ‘cutting the face’ (breaking truces) remains an alternative, one often facilitated by new technologies that allow people to challenge pre-existing structures of communication and authority. However, the experiences of journalists and other social media mavens suggest that the liberatory promise of the new technology may not be enough to prevent its reintegration into older patterns of social control.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Berghahn via the DOI in this record
Vol. 2 (1), pp. 49 - 71