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TO VEIL OR NOT TO VEIL?A Case Study of Identity Negotiation among Muslim Women in Austin, Texas

TO VEIL OR NOT TO VEIL?A Case Study of Identity Negotiation among Muslim Women in Austin, Texas,10.1177/089124300014003003,Gender & Society,JENNAN GHA

TO VEIL OR NOT TO VEIL?A Case Study of Identity Negotiation among Muslim Women in Austin, Texas   (Citations: 43)
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The increasingly pervasive practice of veiling among Muslim women has stimulated a great deal of scholarly investigation and debate. This study brings empirical evidence to bear on current debates about the meaning of the veil in Islam. This article first examines the conflicting meanings of the veil among Muslim religious elites and Islamic feminists. Although the dominant gender discourse among Muslim elites strongly favors this cultural practice, an antiveiling discourse promulgated by Islamic feminists has gained ground within recent years. This study then examines how these discursive disputes affect gender identity negotiation among veiled and unveiled Muslim women living in Austin, Texas. Interviews with these women highlight how their gender identities reproduce and reformulate existing Muslim gender discourses. Special attention is paid to the subjective disparities and points of congruence between both groups of respondents. This study concludes by suggesting avenues for future research on the intersection of gender, religion, and cultural difference.
Journal: Gender & Society - GENDER SOC , vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 395-417, 2000
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    • ...ProphetMohammed’s personal traditionsandlifestyle, though theall-male Islamic clergy (faqihs, imams, muftis, mullahs, ulamas) act as interpretive authorities (Mehmet, 1994; Read & Bartowski, 2000)...
    • ...Read & Bartowski, 2000), the United Kingdom (Ahmad, 2001 ;D wyer,1999), Canada (Dosa, 1999), the Netherlands (Essers & Benschop, 2009) and Australia (Ho, 2007)...
    • ...Brenner (1996 :6 90) writes that“...the discipline of veiling provides those women who choose to adopt it with a sense of identity, self-mastery and purpose.” In a US study (Read & Bartowski, 2000: 408), unveiled Muslim women noted that “the veil reinforces gender distinctions that work to Muslim women’s collective disadvantage,” with the hijab construed as patriarchal oppression linked to “assorted masculine hang-ups.” However, this ...
    • ...Thus there are competing discourses on the veil, hijab or burqa and “discursive fissures” which divide Muslim religious authorities on this issue (Read & Bartowski, 2000; Rozario, 2006), and which has also become source of controversy in the Western world (Winter, 2006)...

    Jawad Syedet al. Veiled diversity? Workplace experiences of Muslim women in Australia

    • ...We believe that A'ishah's stories are important because they resonate with the experiences of some of the female Muslim students featured in existing literature on gendered anti-Islamic sentiments (Rezai-Rashti, 1999) and the relation between the female Islamic practice of veiling and negative Muslim stereotyping (Ghazal Read & Bartkowski, 2000; Hoodfar, 1993; Todd, 1998; Zine, 2006)...

    Candace Schleinet al. Supporting Muslim Students in Secular Public Schools

    • ...In this conception, the bodies of veiled women operate as cultural signifiers of social difference and social threat and represent fidelity to a patriarchal order, which is a danger to women's autonomy (Bullock, 2002; MacMaster & Lewis, 1998; Read & Bartkowski, 2000)...

    Jasmin Zine. Unveiled Sentiments: Gendered Islamophobia and Experiences of Veiling ...

    • ...Individual and collective identities are authored within discursive regimes that “provide social actors with important symbolic resources for identity negotiation” (Read and Bartkowski, 2000, p. 398...

    Andrew D. Brownet al. Narrative, identity and change: a case study of Laskarina Holidays

    • ...Western feminists have often viewed the hijab, or head scarf, as a symbol of repression of women (Read & Bartkowski, 2000)...

    Maram Hallaket al. In the Shadows of the Twin Towers: Muslim Immigrant Women's Voices Eme...

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