Identity, religion, and clothing : the lives of British Muslim women

Ansari, S ORCID: 2021, Identity, religion, and clothing : the lives of British Muslim women , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The continuing discourse around Muslim women’s bodies has predominately occupied itself with ideas of ‘traditional’ Islamic dress such as the Hijab, Burka, and the Niqab. Rarely has the image of the Muslim woman moved away from these popular discourses to show the various other forms of dress worn by British Muslim women. Whilst acknowledging that traditional Islamic dress may be useful in understanding the lives of some British Muslim women, it isolates the experiences of Muslim women who may not use ‘traditional’ Islamic dress. This thesis focuses on interrogating concepts of ‘choice’ and ‘negotiation’ through dress in order to understand how Muslim women experience everyday interaction, and how this then impacts on their notion of self and identity construction. This thesis draws on literature and theoretical contributions around Black feminism, particularly Intersectionality, and Islamic feminism as a tool to locate and understand the Muslim women’s identity through the use of dress. The aim of the thesis is to understand how Muslim women make choices about their clothing. It seeks to examine the meanings attached to clothing as expressions of self-identity, especially in relation to religion and gender. In addition, it aims to understand the identity negotiation processes that Muslim women embark on in response to anti-Muslim hate. This thesis uses a qualitative research approach to investigate the aims and objectives using three focus groups and eight semi-structured interviews. This thesis also demonstrates how application of intersectionality both theoretically, and as a methodological tool could be useful for researching Muslim women in order to provide an avenue for them to discuss their own lives, in their own ways and in their own terms. As research around #MosqueMeToo is still emerging, this study is one of the first to emerge with discussions from British Muslim women that openly discuss their views. This research validates the lived experiences of anti-Muslim hate for British Muslim women who are both veiled and non-veiled in the current socio-political climate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Patel, TG (Supervisor), Bagnall, G (Supervisor) and Connelly, LJ (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Saima Ansari
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2021 15:09
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 14:47

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