Driving Opinions on Twitter: Social Identity Theory and Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia

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Almuyidi, Ghaliah
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Middle Tennessee State University
Saudi women were not allowed to drive until Sept. 26, 2017, when the Saudi King issued a statement recognizing the right of women driving. This study explored the kingdom's perception on women's rights by examining tweets announcing lifting of the ban on women's driving through the lens of Social Identity Theory. Using textual analysis, ten tweets and their replies (891 in total) were selected. Four were from official government accounts and six were from national news accounts. From the government tweets, positive attitudes represented 48%, while those with negative attitudes represented 22%. From the national media tweets, comments with positive attitudes represented 24%, while those with negative attitudes represented 43%. Overall, most of the negative responses came from male users. Also, according to the results, females represented 64% while males had 30% on their support for women driving. Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Saudi women, women driving, social identity theory, Women2Drive, Twitter, social media.
Saudi Arabia, Saudi Women, Social Identity Theory, Social Media Twitter, Women Driving, Women2Drive, Mass communication, Communication, Middle Eastern studies