Masters Thesis

A netnographic study of Iranian women on creating counter-discourse on Instagram: a struggle to resist and survive

This study explores whether Iranian women use the only available space of social media (Instagram) to create counter-discourses which allows them to resist and survive the oppressive structures of their society to promote their overall lives. This study also explores the nature of these counter-discourses and their implication on Iranian women’s lives. Netnographic qualitative analysis and critical discourses analysis were utilized to analyze three Instagram pages, feminism.everyday, eli.khorsandfar, and zanan-tosee. The findings indicated that Iranian women are actively engaged in creating counter-discourse on the three Instagram pages, mostly through sharing stories and life experiences. The findings also indicated that state/religion-against-women, men against-women, and women-against-women are amongst internal factors that facilitate women’s othering and impede the path of women liberation. Additionally, women in this study showed inclination toward western merits while possessing an independent worldview with unique cultural/national values which resists against any imposed worldviews. Iranian women in this study showed that their worldview have been informed and affected by the contents of these Instagram pages, but they seemed to follow a very cautious path that limits their activities to the individual level for despotic surveillance. This has been a pattern of survival in a society in which privileges are exclusively being granted to men.