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The flag-bearers of change in a patriarchal Muslim society: Narratives of Iranian solo female travelers on Instagram
Tourism Management Perspectives  (IF6.586),  Pub Date : 2021-05-06, DOI: 10.1016/j.tmp.2021.100817
Adel Nikjoo, Kevin Markwell, Mohanna Nikbin, Ana Beatriz Hernández-Lara

This paper examines the travel experiences of Iranian solo female travelers through an analysis of their Instagram posts. While there is a growing body of literature on solo female travelers, few studies involve women from Asian or Middle Eastern countries. In the case of the Iranian women who are the focus of this study, our analysis identified three main themes: meaning-making; power and empowerment; and facilitation of self-awareness and transformation. We argue that traveling solo is a form of active resistance against Iranian gender relations that creates opportunities for the women to overcome personal fears and logistical challenges. The act of writing up their experiences in their Instagram posts involves self-reflection and such critical analysis allows for greater levels of awareness of self that may then lead to self-transformation.