Online tie and content management and changing religious identity among Muslim Arab women in Israel

Online tie and content management and changing religious identity among Muslim Arab women in Israel

Abstract:

 

This study investigates the central dilemmas and changes in social media use among people whose religious identity is in flux, with an emphasis on backstage processes of decision making. Drawing on 15 in-depth interviews with Muslim women in Israel, we found five main themes reflecting the main online changes users experience and effect. We suggest two different logics that the themes show in online decision-making regarding identity and self-presentation. The first is relatively predictable, whereby users reconstruct their social environment to fit their new religious identity. The second logic concerns the management of ties and content in accordance with religious obligations in ways that may not fit the user’s personal welfare, and which are related to complex inner conflicts of the user. While previous literature stresses personal welfare as a main factor behind online tie and content management, in this article we show how users are willing to sacrifice their online welfare for the sake of their new identity.

 

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