Iranian Feminism and Transnational Ethics in Media Discourse examines the mediated dialogue of #WhiteWednesdays, specifically between U.S. mainstream news narratives and Iranian activists on Twitter. These narratives highlight how hierarchies of visibility in both news and social media discourse overshadow transnational feminist politics while reinforcing femonationalist narratives. Such discourses seemingly support women in Iran, but simultaneously promote Islamophobic messages aligned with U.S. geopolitical politics. In a critical discourse analysis of the #WhiteWednesdays campaign on Twitter and mainstream U.S. news coverage of the movement, this analysis complicates representations of Iran, Muslim women, and feminist politics. The author also unpacks the politics of representation, where voices on the ground are obscured in favor of elite sources who reaffirm U.S Islamophobic and xenophobic ideologies. Scholars and students of communication and media studies will find this book particularly interesting.
Sara Shaban is assistant professor of communication and journalism at Seattle Pacific University.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Globalization, Media, and Journalism
Chapter 2 Transnational Feminism and Alternative Media
Chapter 3 Activism, Feminism, and Women in Iran
Chapter 4 Native Informants and Femonationalism
Chapter 5 Methodology
Chapter 6 News Coverage Analysis
Chapter 7 Twitter Analysis
Chapter 8 Twitter News Sourcing and Transnational Journalism
"With this stellar book, Sara Shaban presents an incisive, accessible, and theoretically driven examination of U.S. news media and Twitter discourse surrounding Iran’s compulsory hijab law. Shaban deftly weaves literature from feminist theory, journalism studies, media ethics, and cultural studies together to frame a coherent and compelling case study that adds much to our understanding of how Muslim women are represented in and through media. In addition, Shaban presents a vision of alternative “ways of knowing” that is more principled, just, and accurate than what we are typically provided. This book deserves a broad audience."
"This book is a must-read for anyone interested in transnational feminism and “global” media ethics. Shaban deftly illuminates the cultural complexity that can undermine a truly “global” media ethics, particularly where gender is concerned. She also highlights the importance of considering gender when theorizing about media ethics on any level. A great text for both undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as for media ethics scholars."
"Shaban’s study of gendered discourse on Iran in U.S. news and social media is an important read for both the expert and the novice. Bringing together academic literature with writing that is clear for a broader audience, Shaban’s book adds to our understanding of the impact of politicized rhetoric on public perceptions and policies. While her case study on Iran provides fascinating detail, the wider implications of the book look at questions of ethics in media, and the use—and misuse—of feminist discourse to promote orientalist narratives of Islam, especially Muslim women. The book is a timely study on the need for a 'global' media ethics."