This study is part of the research I have carried towards my PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning with Lancaster University, United Kingdom. It provides an edusemiotic dynamics framework (EDF) for thinking about how visual and multimodal social media are currently entangled in the lives and learning of Gulf-Arab women in the Middle East and North Africa region. The field of edusemiotics is an integrative conceptual framework concerned with the triadic semiosis of living and learning. Using edusemiotics, the study problematises normative understandings of mobile communication and social media. In particular it contests conceptions of social media platform architectures (designs and structures) and their subsequent affordances (fixed uses). This qualitative research focused specifically on the highly visual image and video sharing applications of Instagram and Snapchat. The methods of critical action research staged the iterative process of thematically organized focus group, visual/multimodal analysis and prototype design. These provided insights into Gulf-Arab women’s multimodal entanglements with social media at material, symbolic and conceptual levels.
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