Are the elite dead?

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Since “Social Media” began to penetrate into our daily lives and took possession of social bonds and control over the details of daily life, it began to change many concepts, the most important of which are symbolic capital, communicative behavior and the concept of elite. ; Let us wonder who moves the masses and shapes their consciousness?

This is what was investigated by the latest study on social networks by researcher d. Saeed bin Ahmed Al-Dahiya Al-Zahrani in his thesis entitled (Communicative Behavior of Saudi Cultural Elites Through Social Networks), for which he received a doctorate in the philosophy of digital communication from the College of Media and Communication at Imam Muhammad bin Saud University acquired , after a rich cultural and scientific plea, which was ably managed by the thesis supervisor A. Dr.. Fahd Al-Askar, and each of the two committee members; Prince A. Dr. Saad Al Saud, dean of the College of Media and Communication at the university, and dr. Hamad Al-Mousa, Associate Professor of Media.
The study, which focused on the study of elites and their transformations between digital and traditional via Twitter, confirmed that the world is witnessing the birth of a parallel elite and the emergence of the elitism of the digital system for symbolic and real dominance witness It answers: Are there really influential elites?!
The 800-page study revealed that celebrities do not provide any serious or deep content, but rather their influence is limited to the consumer behavior of the audience through entertainment or marketing content, with a lack of stability and continuous transformation, which describes them as individuals and individuals. groupings without an ideological link or bloc, in Whereas influencers are digital elites who fall under an ideological bloc and assume a cognitive role with a message. At a time when the traditional elite component has declined, and its influence and presence in Saudi society has noticeably weakened, with the elite losing its central idea, which is the idea of ​​leadership in the face of the reality of the growing crowd.
Al-Zahrani shed light on the expansion of the symbolic class through social networks and the inclusion of the celebrity component within them, which led to the decline in the role of the traditional elites.
Perhaps the most important results of the research are the birth of a new anti-elitist form, more penetrating and broader in scope and with instruments of influence and influence that transcend times, places, cultures, generations and fields, which is called (the elitism ). of the digital system) represented by information and communication technology companies with their algorithmic algorithmic systems on the one hand, and the owners of these companies and institutions On the other hand, and the governments in which these companies and institutions and their owners are located on a third hand, forming a new system of dominance and influence in digital communication environments and the worlds of digital civilization, as a new center of power added to the system of active and influential power centers in local and international contexts.
The study confirmed that the rapid growth through social media has led to the decline of the traditional elite component, and the marked weakening of its influence and presence in Saudi society, while it has not been completely evaded, as reported, such as (the death of elites).

Al-Zahrani achieved the broadening of the elite’s component in terms of quantity, segments, levels and specializations, to the point where the concept of the elite merged after the elite became large masses, and consequently the elite has its central idea lose, what is the idea of ​​leadership.
The study investigated the persuasive dimension in the discourse of Saudi elites, and the shock method emerged, which is based on providing shocking information or opinions to the followers to attract their attention and convince them of ideas on ‘ a way it achieves to attract attention and attraction. , and consequently spread and influence.

The study extrapolated the intellectual references of the Saudi elite that are supposed to guide communicative behavior. The sample members were divided into two categories; The first category belongs to the independent, neutral or artistic intellectual current that is not concerned with intellectual classifications or their interactions, and the second category is the category of opposing intellectual currents represented by the conservative current on the one hand, and the liberal current . on the other hand, and they are the two groups whose representation in society is present in a smaller proportion, but that Their voice is the loudest, referring to the tendency of the balance to belong to the liberal trend, especially those with national concerns, a result that Al-Zahrani interprets with the phased consistency that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen during the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and His Highness Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman regarding the prevailing voice Tolerance, balanced openness, and the fight against extremism and extremism, as represented in the case of recognition not seen in previous periods about the term (liberal), in addition to accepting the description or classification of the term (liberal).

The study revealed the emergence of the category of the digital trend in Saudi Arabia, where the researcher noted that there is evidence of a new intellectual trend that is taking shape and presence and prominence in a remarkable way, and the results show the existence of an intellectual trend that sees the future seeing the extinction of the term “elite” in exchange for the flourishing of the term “celebrity.”

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