FRAMING ON TWITTER: HOW SAUDI ARABIANS INTERTEXTUALLY FRAME THE WOMEN2DRIVE CAMPAIGN
This study uses Twitter posts as a new domain to explore the intersection of framing and intertextuality in computer-mediated communication. My dataset consists of Twitter posts by Saudi women activists in support of women's right to drive in Saudi Arabia and by men clerics who oppose women driving. I identified intertextuality as a primary means by which both groups frame the driving issue and align with their community. I find that there is evidence that both women activists and men clerics utilize local texts to create a shared repertoire of "prior texts" to justify their positions on the driving issue while aligning with the government's regulations. I analyze their use of hashtags related to women driving as an intertextual means to position themselves within the larger conversation. Additionally, while men use only Arabic in their tweets, women occasionally use English in their posts and hashtags, framing the Women2Drive campaign within international contexts and signaling group membership with each other and the multilingual community. Men, on the other hand, framed the campaign as a conspiracy against the Saudi moral and political system, warning of societal consequences and attributing responsibility to Western sources. In addition to highlighting the discursive means through which users frame the campaign, such a contrastive approach attempts to understand how social hierarchies of power and gender operate in an online context.
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