Advanced

The Muhannad Effect: Media Panic, Melodrama, and the Arab Female Gaze

Salamandra, Christa LU (2012) In Anthropological Quarterly 85(1). p.45-78
Abstract
In the summer of 2008, the Saudi-owned, pan-Arab satellite television network Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) aired a failed Turkish soap opera, Gümüş, as the Arabized Noor, creating an overnight sensation and a media panic. Arab news media attributed a wave of domestic violence and divorce to the series’ handsome lead actor, and his character’s romantic deportment. This article combines content analysis of Noor, examination of online discourses surrounding the series, and interviews with its producers. It explores women’s use of new media forms—satellite television and the Internet—to articulate desire and discontent, and the media panic these expressions induced among social and religious conservatives. Opposition to Noor—and to... (More)
In the summer of 2008, the Saudi-owned, pan-Arab satellite television network Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) aired a failed Turkish soap opera, Gümüş, as the Arabized Noor, creating an overnight sensation and a media panic. Arab news media attributed a wave of domestic violence and divorce to the series’ handsome lead actor, and his character’s romantic deportment. This article combines content analysis of Noor, examination of online discourses surrounding the series, and interviews with its producers. It explores women’s use of new media forms—satellite television and the Internet—to articulate desire and discontent, and the media panic these expressions induced among social and religious conservatives. Opposition to Noor—and to the idolization of its male lead—invokes older notions of women’s potent sexual desire as a threat to the social order, and justifies

their containment and control. The series’ ambiguity, like that of Turkey itself, invokes binaries of East and West, Islam and secularism, tradition and modernity enabling a range of commentary on the state of Arab society in general, and sexual relations in particular. The Noor phenomenon created a forum where conflicting notions of Middle Eastern identity, sexual agency and gender relations vie for dominance. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
pan-Arab satellite television, female gaze, Media panic, media convergence, Internet, Social media
in
Anthropological Quarterly
volume
85
issue
1
pages
45 - 78
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84859549432
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
1ed48038-714f-44ef-a4cc-207c14a9db4a (old id 2365094)
date added to LUP
2012-02-27 10:44:47
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:55:26
@misc{1ed48038-714f-44ef-a4cc-207c14a9db4a,
  abstract     = {In the summer of 2008, the Saudi-owned, pan-Arab satellite television network Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) aired a failed Turkish soap opera, Gümüş, as the Arabized Noor, creating an overnight sensation and a media panic. Arab news media attributed a wave of domestic violence and divorce to the series’ handsome lead actor, and his character’s romantic deportment. This article combines content analysis of Noor, examination of online discourses surrounding the series, and interviews with its producers. It explores women’s use of new media forms—satellite television and the Internet—to articulate desire and discontent, and the media panic these expressions induced among social and religious conservatives. Opposition to Noor—and to the idolization of its male lead—invokes older notions of women’s potent sexual desire as a threat to the social order, and justifies<br/><br>
their containment and control. The series’ ambiguity, like that of Turkey itself, invokes binaries of East and West, Islam and secularism, tradition and modernity enabling a range of commentary on the state of Arab society in general, and sexual relations in particular. The Noor phenomenon created a forum where conflicting notions of Middle Eastern identity, sexual agency and gender relations vie for dominance.},
  author       = {Salamandra, Christa},
  keyword      = {pan-Arab satellite television,female gaze,Media panic,media convergence,Internet,Social media},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {45--78},
  series       = {Anthropological Quarterly},
  title        = {The Muhannad Effect: Media Panic, Melodrama, and the Arab Female Gaze},
  volume       = {85},
  year         = {2012},
}