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Unmaking the Arab/Muslim Child: Lived Experiences of Media Use in Two Migratory Settings

A Research Paper by Nisrine Mansour, published by Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

Recent interest in Arab child audiences is mostly related to the penetration of digital media to the Arab region and the rise of discourses on ‘counterterrorism’, Islamic radicalization and Islamophobia. More often than not, audience-focused inquiry has adopted, as a starting point, the uniform default category of ‘Arab/Muslim’. As these analytical categories are conflated, the implications of such teleological epistemologies cannot be missed. In this article, I dislocate these ontological and epistemological assumptions about Arab child audiences by refocusing the inquiry on children’s own processes of meaning-making amid their negotiations of socioeconomic, political, migratory and media ecologies. This inquiry, conducted between 2013 and 2015, explores these spaces by zooming into the findings of ethnographic research and playful interventions with two Syrian and Palestinian children living in the two contrastive migratory settings of Beirut and London. This micro-analysis questions dominant understandings of Arab childhood and screen media use today, and discusses the potential for adopting a multifaceted approach to the inquiry.



Cite as: Mansour, N. (2018). Unmaking the Arab/Muslim Child. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 11(1), 91-110.
Nisrine Mansour

About Nisrine Mansour

am a Researcher and Documentary Filmmaker with a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from the University of the Arts London.

My interests include media, gender, family law, forced migration, and civil society in the Middle East. In my work I seek to document the voices of people living at the political, social, and cultural margins in the Middle East. I hold several publications on women’s subjectivity and family relations, civil society and counter-terrorism, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees and stateless Bedouin populations, and cultures of representation in Arab media.

My filmography includes “Strata Artist” (Producer – shortlisted for best short documentary at the Open City Film Festival), “Hues of Love” (Director – official selection at the MESA FilmFest), and I am currently directing “The Morganti Rebels” a documentary film on activist art after the Libyan Revolution.

I hold extensive teaching experience in issues related to social policy, development and post-development discourses, civil society, gender relations, policies of forced migration


Nisrine Mansour
30 May 2018
Published By
Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
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