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Title: Jordanian Cinema and Gender Regimes: Representations and Audience Reception
Authors: Al-Shara’h, Arene N.
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis investigates the reception of gender regime representations in selected contemporary Jordanian films among a Jordanian audience. The study adopts an audience reception theoretical framework that is mainly influenced by Janet Staiger’s theorization of audiences and their film reception, which is based on the audience, text, context nexus. Moreover, the gender theoretical framework of this research is inspired by multiple intersecting concepts, mainly Judith Butler’s conception of gender as a social construct and performative act, R.W. Connell’s theorization of gender regimes and gender roles as social practices, and the notions of femininity and masculinity which are crucial to underpin the understanding of gendered social expectations important in gender regimes. The study is also influenced by research exploring film, gender, society, and media in Jordan and the Arab world. Utilizing a qualitative methodology focusing on the empirical study of film audience reception, my fieldwork in Jordan in 2019 involved organising three screenings for each of the three selected Jordanian films followed by focus groups with a group of Jordanian women and men in higher education. Follow-up interviews and a Facebook poll on reception of Jordanian films were also included in the qualitative analysis. A thematic analysis of the fieldwork data, managed and coded on NVivo qualitative data analysis software, was conducted to arrive at the findings of this study. Major findings indicate that the audience participating in the current study tend to have different perspectives regarding Jordanian films; while at times they seem to be reinforcing the gender regime that endorses a patriarchal social structure at other instances it can be read that some audience members attempt to subvert gender norms that create this regime. Through tensions, transformations, critiques, and contrasting understandings in the focus group discussions and follow-up interviews, a context of change appears to be evoked by the audience responses to the conservative representations of Jordan society in the films, specifically with regards to gender regimes in the Jordanian context.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of Modern Languages

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