Saudi Women and Socio-Digital Technologies: Reconfiguring Identities

Author(s) Hélène Bourdeloie, Caterina Gentiloni Silveri, Sara Houmair
Contact Hélène Bourdeloie, Sorbonne Paris Nord University, Paris, France. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 11, Iss. 1, 2017, pp. 28-53
Published May 10, 2017
Type Article
Abstract Drawing on research conducted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this paper explores the specific uses of digital technologies by Saudi women. It shows how these women – whose gender identity is strongly constrained by a host of social and religious norms characterizing Saudi society – make use of digital technologies, and particularly mobile telephones. The various applications available for mobile telephony open up to them a whole range of choices on how to communicate and use photography, thus enabling them to circumvent their assigned gender identity, at least at the margin.
Keywords identity, social media, gender, Muslim women, Saudi Arabia