Feminist Dilemmas and the Agency of Veiled Muslim Women: Analysing Identities and Social Representations

Chapman, M. 2016. Feminist Dilemmas and the Agency of Veiled Muslim Women: Analysing Identities and Social Representations. European Journal of Women's Studies. 23 (3), pp. 237-250. doi:10.1177/1350506815605346

TitleFeminist Dilemmas and the Agency of Veiled Muslim Women: Analysing Identities and Social Representations
AuthorsChapman, M.
Abstract

This article addresses dilemmas of agency for feminism through reflections on social psychological research on the role of representations in the construction of identity by Muslim women. Engaging first with Saba Mahmood’s account of religious subjectivities in Politics of Piety (2005), the author argues that feminist research requires a social conception of agency that addresses dialogical dynamics of representation and identity. Drawing on research concerning veiling and identity among Muslim women in the UK and Denmark, the author shows how a social conception of agency may be elaborated through the analysis of how competing representations of gender are negotiated in the self–other encounter. The author argues that a dialogical approach to researching identity in context defies blunt political judgement while shedding light on the intersecting socio-cultural forces and relations of power that engage processes of resistance and re-presentation.

Keywordsagency
feminism
gender identity
intersectionality
Saba Mahmood
Muslim veil
Muslim women
social identity
social representations
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
Journal citation23 (3), pp. 237-250
ISSN1350-5068
Year2016
PublisherSage
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1350506815605346
Publication dates
Published in print01 Aug 2016
Published online18 Oct 2015
Published18 Oct 2015

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