Proceedings of the 10th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities (RAIS 2018)

Virtual Communities and Social Change: Intertextuality in Saudi English-language blogs

Authors
Shrouq Al Maghlouth
Corresponding author
Shrouq Al Maghlouth
Keywords
blogging, critical discourse analysis, social change, women’s empowerment
Abstract
This paper examines the discourse on social change in women-related posts on Saudi English-language blogs. These posts negotiate many reforming measures proposed by the Saudi government to facilitate more women’s empowerment. An eclectic approach to intertextuality is adopted to explore the virtual community and the connections created on such platforms. The methodology adopted is based on Koller’s (2012) work on analyzing collective identities and draws primarily on Reisigl & Wodak’s (2009, 90) view of Intertextuality. It also examines more direct and explicit instances of the recontextualization of other texts or discourses through hyperlinked clauses on such blogs. The findings of the analysis reveal that the community at hand is quite closed, exhibiting an example of what has been identified in psychology as confirmation bias (Nickerson 1998, 175), which jeopardizes the potential of blogging for promoting change. A supporter/opponent struggle is vigorously expressed in these posts, to the point that it overlooks the bigger picture, i.e. women’s empowerment. Women who are expected to be at the centre of these topics are sidelined by such struggles.
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