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10.1177_1461444818821369.pdf (148.6 kB)

Attribute substitution and stereotypes about the online Arab public sphere: Predictors of concerns about Internet surveillance in five Arab countries

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journal contribution
submitted on 2024-03-06, 09:42 and posted on 2024-03-06, 09:42 authored by Justin D Martin, S Shageaa Naqvi, Klaus Schoenbach

This study examined concerns about Internet surveillance among Internet users in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Lebanon, Qatar, and the UAE ( N = 4160). Despite common stereotypes about how variables like gender, youth, income, nationality, and liberal or conservative ideology affect political and cultural attitudes in Arab countries, these indicators were not significant predictors of concerns about online surveillance by governments and companies. Arab nationals reported greater concern about companies monitoring their online activity, while expatriates were more worried about government surveillance. The study uses literature on the attribute substitution heuristic to discuss how people might form stereotypes about large groups.

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Published in: New Media & Society
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2019

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Northwestern University in Qatar

Geographic coverage

North Africa and the Middle East (MENA)