The stranger within: Israeli religious women lead social change in community web-series

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This study analyzes Israeli Zionist-religious women’s representation in community web-series and their reception as a minority group within a minority community. To reveal their social role and the mechanisms that stimulate interaction and encourage social change, thematic and textual analyses were conducted. It was found that religious-Zionist women emerge as meaningful characters manifesting liberal and egalitarian values within a conservative religious community. They expand community boundaries and norms using their authentic and challenging voices and by their unique symbolic role as Strangers, according to Georg Simmel’s term, which this study differentiates into two new types—“Complete Stranger” and “Close Stranger”. Their representation also encourages reflexivity among viewers. These results show that web-series amplify social change and become a vehicle for its visual expression, which viewers endorse. These representations make it possible to develop a theoretical model of media representation of the other in community media available to all.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2629-2645
Number of pages17
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023


  • Community web-series
  • Israeli religious-Zionist women
  • cultural representation theory
  • religious feminism
  • social change
  • stranger
  • women media representation


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