Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Middle Eastern Studies


Christa Salamandra

Subject Categories

African Languages and Societies | African Studies


Arab Spring; Narrative; Social Media


The story of Mohammed Bouazizi is credited with being the "spark that lit the flame," first of the Tunisian Revolution, then the Arab Spring as a whole, creating a domino effect that brought down the Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan and Yemeni leaders, and threatened to topple still more. In this thesis I explore the narrative structure of the Tunisian revolution, how the story of Mohammed Bouazizi represented that structure and how the narrative sparked the Arab Spring. I also ask how narrative is created and what role social media played in allowing this particular story to become a part of the national narrative. Through an examination of the Tunisian narrative in history and from multiple angles, I endeavor to place Mohammed Bouazizi's story in its proper context. Finally, I come to the conclusion that the story is more a product of collective narrative and consciousness than a triumph of truth in media