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Title: Arab talk shows and the gendered public sphere : the case of Jordan
Author: Nassif, Dana
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 1395
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis analyses the content of three Arab satellite television talk shows and their reception by women in Jordan. It aims to assess the role of talk shows in the Arab public sphere by engaging with different conceptualisations and criticisms of the public sphere theory, starting with Habermas (1989) influential work. The thesis argues that once the criticisms of the criteria that underpin Habermas original theory are taken into consideration, and alternative conceptualisations by different traditions of democratic theory are considered, contemporary popular media genres like talk shows can be re-evaluated for their role in the public sphere. The thesis aligns itself with conceptualisations of the public sphere as an on-going and continuous process, rather than a concluded state, and argues through the analysis that this process transpires and continues in different contexts, within and beyond the media. Through its theoretical and empirical engagement, the thesis hopes to contribute to research on Arab television genres and its audiences, and their implications for investigations of the Arab public sphere. The thesis employs a multi-method approach to analyse the three talk shows Kalam Nawaem [Soft talk], Ahmar Bel Khat Al Areed [In Bold Red] and Sireh Winfatahet [An Open Case] and their audiences as two contexts where engagements with the public sphere continually take place. First, it uses thematic analysis to examine the content of the talk shows in terms of the issues they discuss and their relation to the Arab public sphere. Second, it also uses formal analysis to examine the structural features of the shows in order to demonstrate how these aspects collaborate to further shape the function of these shows in the public sphere. Third, the thesis analyses the audience research conducted through focus groups with women in Jordan, in order to study audiences perceptions of these shows and their role in the public sphere. The thesis proposes different ways in which these shows discussions can be consequential to the Arab public sphere, and the ways in which these transnational shows and discussions are watched and deciphered by audiences at a national level. Finally, the thesis reflects back on what it has achieved, its methodological limitations and alternatives, as well as future work that can be pursued on this topic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Loughborough University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Talk shows ; Audiences ; Public sphere ; Arab Television ; Jordan ; Women