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Title: Mediated Representations of Women in Qatar : a mixed-methods study exploring symbolic annihilation, presentation of self, and postfeminist sensibilities in the Gulf Times and among women influencers on Instagram
Authors: Lance, Elizabeth Ashley
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Little scholarship on women’s representations in the news media or on social media has focused on Arab Gulf countries. This study addresses research gaps on women’s representations in the media in non-Western contexts, in both the mainstream media and on social media in Qatar. The datasets for the quantitative content analysis of the Englishlanguage daily newspaper The Gulf Times comprises news items and photographs from a rolling constructed two-week sample from a 14-week period in 2019. Three datasets were compiled, covering articles (n=456), photographs (n=435), individuals named in the news (n=933). I coded items using a modified codebook based on the Global Media Monitoring Project and conducted descriptive and non-parametric statistical analyses. The results showed that women in Qatar exceeded global and regional figures for representations in newspaper articles and photographs, though they were directly quoted at a rate lower than the global and regional averages. For the qualitative ethnographic content analysis of social media content, I collected Instagram posts and stories of ten of Qatar’s Instafamous women during a threemonth period in late 2019. I conducted qualitative textual and visual analysis of a portion of their posts (n=146) and all of their stories, using Goffman’s social role performance and gender expression frameworks and Gill’s postfeminist sensibilities. The results indicate that the Instafamous of Qatar both conform to and subvert dominant representations of women, and they do so through microcelebrity practice, visibility labor, and impression management, among other tools. My research challenges the Orientalist orthodoxy of the silenced Arab or Muslim woman, and presents empirical evidence to decolonize theoretical frameworks developed in the Western world. Women in Qatar exert agency by both conforming to and subverting societal expectations by knowingly navigating gender-based boundaries on social media and presenting themselves in meaningful ways
Description: PhD Thesis
URI: http://hdl.handle.net10443/5726
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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