Malik, Hamdi (2018) Media, gender and domestic relations in post-Saddam Iraq. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

The regime change of 2003 transformed the media environment in Iraq from one that was strictly limited and monopolised by the state, to one without any restrictions imposed by state agencies. Gender culture and ‘family values’ have especially been contested as a consequence of the transformation of access to the media. The common assumption is that sexualised media content, and also the increasingly privatised nature of media technologies, are contributing towards the transformation of gender culture, with worries that Iraqi women in particular are turning into Western women and becoming estranged from their genuine Iraqi identity. The aim of this research is to investigate the nature of the evolving relationship between media and gender culture in post-Saddam Iraq. The importance of this investigation lies in the fact that since 2003, most research on Iraq has focused on war. This is also true of studies on gender relations. This research, however, focuses on other developments that happened as a result of the regime change, paving the way for struggles over many issues, including gender culture and Iraqi identity. The project was carried out using the qualitative method of semi-structured interviews. The interviews were carried out in Baghdad and Erbil, giving a perspective of the urban middle class Iraqi Arabs and Kurds on the subject. The research demonstrates that although the media provides windows for Iraqi women to distance themselves from prevalent patriarchal rules that control their sexuality, the ‘realities’ of local life have not allowed for the ‘Westernisation’ of gender relations in post-Saddam Iraq. Since the media is viewed as a threat to the sexual honour, an important element of Iraqi gender culture, there is a tendency to reassert this notion in the processes of the redefinition of the cultural identity of Iraqi people that was triggered by the 2003 war. This thesis offers new insights into gender relations in post-Saddam Iraq, focussing especially on the update on media in this period, and how this relates to the constitution of Iraqi identity and gender relations in families. It also offers a re-working of the concept of ‘honour’; one that embeds this into an analysis of Iraq’s hegemonic masculine system.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 09:25
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 09:25
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/5102

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