Another other : redefining feminism on Al-Jazeera
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Women and women’s issues receive a great deal of attention on Al-Jazeera English, increasing the visibility of feminist ideologies in the transnational media and promoting a space for new and greater feminist discourse. This thesis seeks to discover how and why Al-Jazeera undertakes such promotion and what links it possesses to the larger sociopolitical climate of the Middle East as a whole. In pursuit of these goals, the study examines the journalistic content, unconscious style, and linguistic structures used in articles about women on the Al-Jazeera English website to conclude that this attention is primarily supportive of feminist ideologies, though more so with regards to women from areas that fall outside of the regions dominated by the hegemonic Anglo-American media establishment. In circumstances of revolution and change, Al-Jazeera invokes women to highlight their active agency and demonstrate their social power. Where such change is not possible, articles employ more reserved and passive techniques to convey the stagnancy of the situation. When this stagnant situation occurs in the United States or Europe, however, Al-Jazeera journalists express much less sympathy than when similar situations occur in less developed countries. Women from these less developed areas are also highlighted more often in positions of power and influence. Based on this evidence, the study concludes that Al-Jazeera’s attention to women plays a role in a larger movement to develop an ideological culture base without roots in the United States or Europe. By building a feminism tied to local women, Al-Jazeera is providing an alternative to the widespread and diametrically opposed systems of cultural imperialism and stalwart traditionalism. By proving that feminist ideologies can consist of Arab, African, or Indian ideas as much as American or European ones, Al-Jazeera paves the way for discrete ideological development in regions suffering from the aftershocks of cultural appropriation and imperialism.