Veiling and blogging: Social media as sites of identity negotiation and expression among Saudi women

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Journal of International Women's Studies


© 2015 Journal of International Women's Studies. This paper aims at assessing how Saudi Arab young women use social media for negotiating and expressing their identity. Through in-depth interviews with a sample of seven Saudi females aged 20 - 26, the research revealed that the internet, with its protection of individual privacy, provided the participants a space to negotiate the boundaries imposed on them by cultural and societal rules. Participants employed several tactics of negotiation such as using nicknames, concealing their personal images and using first names only in order not to be identified by their family names. Using multiple accounts is also popular among participants. Without gatekeepers, the internet brings new ways of self-expression and identification among Saudi females, thus creating a safe space where female body, predominant in daily life, is nonexistent and only thoughts count.

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