Title: “Is It Just for Venting Out?”: Exploring Discourse of the Phenomenon of Facebook Groups for “Ladies Only” on Mainstream Local Television Programs in Egypt
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Shaden Kamel, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Since 2015 various support private Facebook groups for women only have been created by Egyptian women. The prominence of these Facebook groups, due to the high engagement and discussions on these platforms, has attracted extensive media coverage. Many of these Facebook groups are a prominent topic for mainstream media channels because they are private groups exclusively for women that encompass tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of members. On the one hand, the prominence of these Facebook groups reflects how women want to be heard in exclusive spaces. On the other hand, the impact of these Facebook groups on women's well-being and society is prevalently discussed in local mainstream television programs. Thus, this presentation focuses on local commercial mainstream television programs in Egypt as producers of dominant ideologies by conducting critical discourse analysis. It explores under what conditions these Facebook groups are portrayed as beneficial or problematic. Ten online videos were retrieved from various Egyptian television program's Youtube channels to examine the discourse of women's use of Facebook groups. These videos include episodes or segments featuring Facebook group creators, members, and critics. Results show that a neoliberal discourse is prevalent in these television programs that encourage women economically. This discourse promotes successful women's entrepreneurial practices tied to these Facebook groups. Concurrently, moral panic discourse is demonstrated over women's discussion of the private sphere on these Facebook groups. I argue that this neoliberal patriarchal discourse has implications on women expressing their concerns and ultimately limits their social and political contribution.
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