Veil as Stigma: Exploring the Role of Representations in Muslim Women's Management of Threatened Social Identity

Chapman, M. 2016. Veil as Stigma: Exploring the Role of Representations in Muslim Women's Management of Threatened Social Identity. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 26 (4), pp. 354-366. doi:10.1002/casp.2269

TitleVeil as Stigma: Exploring the Role of Representations in Muslim Women's Management of Threatened Social Identity
AuthorsChapman, M.
Abstract

This study extends research on the relations between social representations and social identities through an exploration of how Muslim women manage the stigma of veiling. Based on analysis of individual and group interviews among Muslim women in Denmark and the UK, the study highlights the dialectical nature of social identity as constructed through and against others’ representations of social groups and the norms of valuing they impose. It shows how, for the women here, the reinforcement of a shared sense of Muslim identity goes together with re-evaluation of aspects of that identity,principally in response to representations of the veil that deny Muslim women agency and cast them
as oppressed. It shows how norms of gender and agency are in this process variously resisted and affirmed, resulting in the reframing of gendered religious values. Theoretically, the study argues that an account of the role of representations in the construction of identity challenges the inter-group framework of existing approaches to threatened social identity and sheds light on intersectional dynamics of identity.

KeywordsMuslim women
veil
headscarf
stigma
social identity
JournalJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Journal citation26 (4), pp. 354-366
ISSN1052-9284
Year2016
PublisherWiley
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/casp.2269
Publication dates
Published11 Mar 2016

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