Women’s Online Representation: Contention and Exclusion

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has witnessed new reforms in which there has been a considerable governmental effort to implement new policies that seek to empower women. These policies have transformed many aspects of women's lives. This has been accompanied by a new representation of Saudi women on social media that has produced what I refer to as a polarised representation of women as either liberal or conservative. The present study adopts an ethnographic research method to investigate women's representations on social media and aims to explore how are women represented in Saudi Arabia on the Twitter hashtag #TheFoundationDay? How does this representation subordinate the struggles and needs of other women? What can the stories of the unrepresented women tell us about the diversity of the Saudi women? It has been shown that the representations on the Twitter hashtag #TheFoundationDay perpetuate the polarised representations of women as either liberal or conservative. The present study argues that these polarised representations exclude other women's struggles and needs. It also aims to surface other women's voices in order to address their struggles and seeks a more inclusive perspective on researching women within the Saudi context.
Digital Media Education, Gender