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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Identity Negotiation, Saudi Women, and the Impact of the 2011 Royal Decree: An Investigation of the Cultural, Religious, and Societal Shifts among Women in the Saudi Arabian Public Sphere
by Alshoaibi, Maha, Ph.D., Duquesne University, 2018, 192; 10980520
Abstract (Summary)

Historically, Saudi Arabian culture has been deeply rooted in tradition, religious customs, family-oriented structures, and gender derived expectations for men and women alike. Saudi Arabian culture emphasizes a patriarchal family structure where men financially provide for their family whereas women are expected to manage internal household duties such as raising children, upholding household affairs, and working within a limited scope of employment. The concept of Saudi Arabian women integrating into the public workforce has been a source of contention and debate for the last several hundred years. Due to recent changes in political and economic events, a royal decree issued in 2011 enforced by the Ministry of Labor has created new opportunities for women to enter into the public workforce within a myriad of employment venues. Through developments such as these, women have been granted greater access to what Jürgen Habermas has referred to as the “public sphere,” which was previously exclusive to male members of society. In addition, deviations in cultural norms consequently begs the question of how Saudi Arabian women perceive themselves in the workforce, society, within a religious context, and if legislative changes have impacted their personal identity within Saudi Arabian culture. The Identity Negotiation Theory (INT), in conjunction with the idea of the Public Sphere, is leveraged to understand how recent changes in the Saudi legislature promoting the inclusion of women in a variety of spaces has shaped this culture’s perception of intrapersonal and interpersonal identity, and ultimately of the culture itself.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garrett, Erik
Commitee: Arneson, Pat, Fritz, Janie M. Harden
School: Duquesne University
Department: Communication and Rhetorical Studies
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Philosophy, Communication
Keywords: Habermas, Identity negotiation, Public sphere, Religious public sphere, Saudi Arabian women, Saudi women and royal decrees, Vision 2030
Publication Number: 10980520
ISBN: 978-0-438-79258-6
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