Social media and connective action: The case of the Saudi women’s movement for the right to drive

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New Media and Society


© The Author(s) 2020. This article explored the use of social media and mobile communication by women in Saudi Arabia who campaigned for the right to drive from 1990. Due to the globally unique ban on women driving in the Kingdom, females always needed a male driver to transport them. The Saudi government announced in September 2017 that women would be allowed to drive from June 2018. Using the theory of connective action, the article explored the role of social media in the movement for the right to drive, and looked at how activists used digital media platforms to get their messages across to the Saudi publics and the international community. Findings showed that both connective action and collective action offer tactics that can complement each other in an online movement. In addition, results offer in-depth insights about the role of identity in online movements. Threats to and limitations of online movements are also discussed.

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