Engaging in a critical and qualitative analysis of the new photographic and media practices of the last decade, my thesis begs political and theoretical questions about the power of image in our culture and cross-culturally, and offers a fresh point of view in understanding how online groups center around sociopolitical goals and under what conditions the organization and mobilization of the local and global public spheres lead to alternative forms of action. This research is driven by my curiosity about how in the age of networked technology individuals come together and unanimously work towards achieving targeted sociopolitical goals, using socio-technical systems.

Related to my dissertation topic, I have also researched Iranian women’s decade-­long use of the blogosphere and networked technology in unveiling and challenging cultural and social gender inequalities in Iran—which later led to their vast participation in 2009 post­-election demonstrations and unrest. My personal background as an Iranian­-American woman, born and raised in Tehran, and my involvement with the Iranian Women’s Right’s Movement (Campaign of One Million Signatures) while I resided in California gave me a unique perspective on the subject.