This article explores how women in religious workplaces respond to organizational norms of and requirements for modest dress and behavior, both implicit and explicit. It compares two case studies: women working for faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the UK, and women working for secular organizations who travel for work to Saudi Arabia, where the state requirement to dress modesty meant wearing an abaya (slightly relaxed in 2019). Data come from semi-structured interviews with 43 women: 21 who travelled from the UK to Saudi Arabia and 22 who work in UK FBOs. It examines three themes: how women adapt to forms of modest dress; how they navigate dress regulation; and how they negotiate habitus and authenticity. The article proposes that women’s modest dress in workplaces governed by religious codes be understood as a form of lived religious practice and one that raises dilemmas of habitus and authenticity.
|Journal||Sociology of Religion|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 15 Jun 2022|
- religious organizations
- women and employment
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom