Social justice, politics of authorisation and agency: A hybrid theoretical framework to study contemporary Muslim femininity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sociological research on Muslim women in the contemporary world is wrought with political, ideological and, consequently, theoretical conundrums. In the West, Muslim women are seen as carriers of culture, as embodiment of collective honour (Archer, 2002) and as ‘veiled, exotic and oppressed by Islam’ (Khan, 2005:2023–4) while others highlight Islamic traditions and gendered customs underpinning their oppression (Afshar, 1985; Odeh, 1993). Still others challenge the Orientalist assumptions behind the overemphasis on Muslim women's
subordination (Moghadam, 1994, Dwyer, 1999, Shain, 2000, AbuLughod, 2002; Lewis, 2007; Razack, 2004), highlighting the wide variety of socio-political and economic contexts that Muslim women navigate in their lives. More recently, Rashid (2016) shows how UK government's counter-terrorism policies seeking to empower Muslim women often have the counter-productive effect of removing their agency. She skilfully unpicks the ways in which policies view Muslim
women seen solely in relation to their religious affiliation and co-opt
the feminist rhetoric of empowerment and personal freedoms towards
the counter-terrorism policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Volume74
Early online date29 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

social justice
authorization
femininity
Muslim
politics
terrorism
denomination
empowerment
oppression
social research
honor
Islam
rhetoric
woman
authorisation
economics
policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

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abstract = "Sociological research on Muslim women in the contemporary world is wrought with political, ideological and, consequently, theoretical conundrums. In the West, Muslim women are seen as carriers of culture, as embodiment of collective honour (Archer, 2002) and as ‘veiled, exotic and oppressed by Islam’ (Khan, 2005:2023–4) while others highlight Islamic traditions and gendered customs underpinning their oppression (Afshar, 1985; Odeh, 1993). Still others challenge the Orientalist assumptions behind the overemphasis on Muslim women'ssubordination (Moghadam, 1994, Dwyer, 1999, Shain, 2000, AbuLughod, 2002; Lewis, 2007; Razack, 2004), highlighting the wide variety of socio-political and economic contexts that Muslim women navigate in their lives. More recently, Rashid (2016) shows how UK government's counter-terrorism policies seeking to empower Muslim women often have the counter-productive effect of removing their agency. She skilfully unpicks the ways in which policies view Muslimwomen seen solely in relation to their religious affiliation and co-optthe feminist rhetoric of empowerment and personal freedoms towardsthe counter-terrorism policy.",
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