Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4319-4613

Defense Date

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Oliver C Speck

Second Advisor

Archana A Pathak

Third Advisor

Nicole O'Donnell

Fourth Advisor

Hong Cheng

Fifth Advisor

Marcus Messner

Abstract

Based on framing theory, Said’s Orientalism, and Hall’s theory of representation, this dissertation explores how the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is represented on the social media platform Twitter. Specifically, the study aims to identify how Saudi Arabia and Saudis are represented in English-language tweets by Western media in the years after several political incidents in the region, such as the Yemen war, and new political leadership in Saudi Arabia that has introduced many economic and social reforms. Thus, the overarching research question in this study is, how have Saudi Arabia and Saudis been presented on Twitter recently? This study sheds light on representations of Saudi Arabia and Saudis and how they are framed in social media by examining the English language tweets from Western news accounts on Twitter. With the purpose of gaining an understanding of how Saudis are portrayed on Twitter, this study provides a literature review of academic sources that address the representation of Muslims and Arabs in general, and Saudis in particular. Through quantitative content analysis, this dissertation analyzes how English-language tweets by Western news accounts framed Saudi representation during the selected timeframe, January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019. The most used frames of Western news Twitter accounts are Conflict, Attribution of Responsibility, and Difference. The main findings present a shift in the Saudi Arabian literature by showing that the early frames of Orientalism strongly occur in the age of the Twitter and shifting results have been marked in representing Saudi women, terrorism, and Saudi-Israel relations.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

12-3-2020

Available for download on Tuesday, December 02, 2025

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