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Title: The impact of social media on women's civic engagement in Saudi Arabia : an empirical and critical study of Saudi women councillors
Author: Alsuraihi, Hanan
ISNI:       0000 0004 9352 761X
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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This study explores the impact of social media on women’s civic engagement in Saudi Arabia. It investigates many issues related to Saudi society as democracy, civil society and human rights based on an empirical study of 20 elected women of the Municipal Election of 2015. This study was based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with the elected women, and on the NVivo data analysis program. On the one hand, the results of this study show the role played by the ruling family in improving the status of Saudi women through the enactment of various laws that provide them with education, employment and freedom of action. On the other hand, the study shows the many negative effects of traditional Saudi society, represented by traditional units such as the family and the tribe, in restricting the movement of women and discrimination against them. The study's interviews reveal that women focus on philanthropy in the Kingdom without mentioning political action, which reveals a conservative view by women of the nature of change in society, and indicates a very weak level of political awareness. This limited feminist vision, in turn, is reflected in their concept of social media. They perceive social media as a new tool that helps them acquire knowledge, conduct scientific research and communicate among themselves; yet they do not mention using social media to form active feminist groups in order to make real changes in their interests, and to help them gain more rights. On the positive side, the study shows that this conservative vision will change over time in the Kingdom in the light of the new openness of the ruling family and its support for Saudi women.
Supervisor: Wooffitt, Robin ; O'Brien, Tom Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available