Iranian Women’s Activities in Social Movements, and Their Representations in Canadian and US Mass Media

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Elahe NEZHADHOSSEIN, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, Canada
Images of Iranian women in the West, as women of a Muslim and Middle Eastern country, are not accurate and do not show the reality of these women’s lives. However, women’s participation in social movements against power structures has the capacity to change women’s oppressive representations in the media that are based on race, as such is the case with women of color, or based on ethnicity, as with Muslim women, through attracting media attention. Drawing on theories of hegemony and discourse in media and networks of power and social movements, I explore how the discourses, including texts, language, and images in the US and Canada’s mass media, have been affected or challenged/changed through women’s activities in Iran, and how the social movement participants can be actively integrated into networks of power to challenge different aspects of inequality such as hegemony and discourses of race, class, gender or ethnicity-based inequalities in the media. My qualitative research study uses qualitative content analysis of newspapers as well as critical discourse analysis to explore the changes in Iranian women’s representations in the media in the US and Canada. The data shows that these inaccurate images shown in the media in the West are not a priority for women inside of Iran, but their (Iranian women) activities in social movements are more likely to gain the attention of the media and those images can be changed and made more realistic. Participation of women in social movements can have the attention and challenge their (women) misrepresentation on the mass media. This research shed light on new aspects of social movements’ outcomes as global and intersectional effects of social movements, and the creation of intersectional counter-hegemonies against intersectional inequality systems.