Thesis on Democratizing through Social Media- Studying Few Cases of Facebook and Blog in Bangladesh

While social media is generously available in the devolved countries, as in many other developing countries, in Bangladesh, the use of social media is increasing exponentially, though among urban elites. The research portrays the existing social media situation in Bangladesh. This research explores the prospects of using social media especially Facebook and blog and examine how it can enhance democracy in Bangladesh. This research investigates on social media’s permeation into ‘everyday life’ in Bangladesh. The theory of Network society formulated by Manuel Castells is applied here which guided the research. Case study is the main methodology in this research. Also some in-depth interviews have been taken for data collection. Social media has gained positive attention in media studies. This research contributes in this growing field of study, especially with Bangladesh perspective.In recent years, developing countries including Bangladesh have witnessed a unique development of social media. Social media opens a new option for communication and communication is the mechanism which is used by people to develop social relationship.

Major changes have been noticed in city life, especially among youths. Young generations in Bangladesh are now exposed to global culture; they are using mobile phones, computers, laptops and other means of latest communication technology. Today for communication, educational purpose, banking sector, commercial offices, institutions, enterprises, transportation system, and in every other sectors social media has become a part and parcel of the society and is leading to a distinctive technological as well as social change across the country.

While social media is generously available in the developed countries, as in many other developing countries like Bangladesh, innovations in its use for social change and development have been started in a short range. In many cases, the online community in Bangladesh responds proactively to the socio-economic issues. The online community that comprises ‘Facebookians’ and ‘bloggers’, regularly criticize the government for their failure. Day by day, people’s participation is increasing in different Facebook groups and blogs in Bangladesh. This year a blogger was arrested from a procession of bloggers for supporting the student movement of Jagannath University against the budget cut by the government. In a word, by using social media like Facebook and blog, Bangladeshi citizens make a contribution to establish democracy in the society. This study will explore the prospects of using new social media for changing the media culture in Bangladesh. The research will also explore the situation in the existing social networking sites in Bangladesh providing information and communication service. At the same time, the study will attempt to identify the constraints that impede the gradual development of social networking sites for democratizing media. It highlights the role of alternative media for engaging more people to the media like citizen journalism. This research will focus on new social media’s permeation into ‘everyday life’ in Bangladesh through products, knowledge, and cultural processes for democratizing the media.