DISCONCERTING IMAGES

Hania A. M. Nashef
  • Interventions, December 2012, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/1369801x.2012.730858

Arab media female representations

What is it about?

The changes that have been witnessed by media in the Arab World have redefined the media’s initial role as a source of information. With the advent of satellite television, new realities, namely the fall of communication boundaries have emerged. At first, such advancements posed a challenge to government bodies, specifically in the Arab region; however, the issue has been resolved in what has eventually resulted in government-controlled media, independently owned stations with ties to ruling bodies, and the mushrooming of little private ventures owned by businesses or religious/sectarian groups, transmitting globally. This not only did not translate into political or social freedoms in the Arab world but also failed to challenge pre-existing notions of gender. The current media has inadvertently consolidated traditional stereotypes of the female in spite of its claim to be a liberating force. In this paper, I propose to argue that a detailed study of female representation on Arab television would reveal an immature and regressive media, solely interested in commodifying and in enfeebling the Arab female. Moreover, an interpretive discourse with postcolonial theory and an analysis of what constitutes the Arab identity will reveal why such female representations persist.

Why is it important?

This is a close analysis of Arab female representations on pan-Arab channels. It looks at how the stations enfeeble the Arab female, in spite of claiming otherwise. I use a postcolonial approach in the article.

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Hania A.M. Nashef