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Exploring the self-presentation of female Muslims, who wear the hijab, on the social networking site ‘Instagram.’

Kauser, Ruqaiyyah (2019) Exploring the self-presentation of female Muslims, who wear the hijab, on the social networking site ‘Instagram.’. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Although there is literature on the experiences generated from social media usage, it’s scope is limited and has failed to account for the varying experiences which can be generated for different users. Previous literature has adopted a quantitative approach, using self-report measures. The present study aimed to explore the self-presentation of hijabis on the social networking site Instagram, using semi-structured interviews. To gain an in-depth understanding of individuals experienced, 5 women aged 18+ were recruited using volunteer sampling. Upon conduction of the interviews, they were analysed using Thematic Analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). Four themes were highlighted amongst the interviews: What to Represent, Multiple Audiences, Controlling the Parameters of Representation and Negotiating the Boundaries. These findings suggest that Instagram does not function in the same way that previous literature has found with western samples; Instagram functions to allow others i.e. the audience, to regulate the behaviour of the user in line with cultural expectations. This therefore contradicts the findings that social media allows users to experiment with their self-presentation techniques (Smith and Sanderson, 2015). Limitations and implications for future research are discussed in full.

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