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Title: Emirati women journalists bargaining with patriarchy in search of equality
Author: Al Obeidli, Noura
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 4104
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2020
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In recent years, arguments have been made about the absence of Emirati women journalists in analyzing political and economic news stories. The role of Emirati women in journalism has been and remains anonymous. They are rarely seen taking part in this field, in comparison with their peers in other states in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in Kuwait and Bahrain, where women have reported on complex political and social issues since the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, the field of broadcast media and journalism has proven to be a challenging one for Emirati women to enter, due to socio-cultural constraints set by a patriarchal society that prefers the practise of traditional gender roles. To shed light on this phenomenon, this doctoral research will present an in-depth study of media development and the emergence of women’s journalism in the UAE, using two types of empirical research methodology. The first is participant observation, which took place at Dubai Media Incorporated’s news centre (Dubai TV) and Abu Dhabi Media Company’s news centre (Abu Dhabi Channel One). The second is semistructured interviews, in which 40 Emirati and Arab expat journalists were interviewed, and were categorized based on gender, with 30 females and 10 males, and stratification. For the latter, journalists were divided into two generational groups: journalists who belong to ‘the early generation’, between the ages of 30 and 60, who practised journalism from the 1970s to the 1990s; and journalists who belong to ‘the new generation’, who are in their 20s, and started practising journalism from the year 2000 onward. This research will make a significant contribution to the study of Gulf and Arab media and gender studies, as it is the first to investigate gender dynamics in Emirati newsrooms, and in particular the influence of tribal and patriarchal culture in determining Emirati women’s roles as newsmakers. It is also the first to observe and document the newsroom norms and journalistic practises in the Emirates, which are delimited by an oppressive 40-year-old media law, authoritarian political power control, and censorship. Therefore, this study highlights specific themes that are underexamined in the Emirates, including gender dynamics and self-censorship practises in the newsroom. It is also the first empirical study to use ethnography in order to examine these themes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available