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

Aysha Agbarya*, Nicholas John

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)356-371
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Muslim women
  • Online tie management
  • digital religion
  • identity
  • social media


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