The Rescue Discourse: Representations of Saudi Women in the Western Media

Ibtesam AbdulAziz Bajri, Amirah Abdulrahman Alqurayqiri


It is important to observe that the media has a significant effect on how people form perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes towards issues in society. Generally, the western media views Saudi women as oppressed, unprivileged, and unable to participate and integrate with society due to Saudi culture, which the western media claims are ultra-conservative. In addition, the western media shows that Saudi women are in desperate need of western intervention to rescue them. The purpose of this paper is to examine the representation of Saudi women in four articles published pre and post the lifting of the driving ban; to investigate the processes in discourse through which such a representation is formed, and to investigate the underlying power relations and ideology that enable and motivate such a representation. Implementing Fairclough’s (1995b) three-dimensional model of CDA, the researchers find that there is a positive shift in the way Saudi women are represented in the media from a submissive image to a more affluent and independent woman.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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