Beyond Headscarf Culture in Turkey's Retail Sector
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES
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Sehlikoglu, S. (2017). Beyond Headscarf Culture in Turkey's Retail Sector. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, 49 (3), 553-554. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020743817000460
Feyda Sayan-Cengiz’s first ethnography examines lower-class, headscarf-wearing women who work in the private sector and their precarity at work through the politics of visibility, class, and gender. The author takes issues with what she calls “culturalist lenses” that often carelessly divide women as either Islamist or secularist based on their headscarf (or lack of it). In Sayan Cengiz’s argument, such a lens not only fails to reflect the fluidity and diversity she witnesses in Turkish social life, but does so “at the expense of folding issues of social inequality into cultural difference-based social stratification” (p. 3). The scholarly discussion on the headscarf in Turkey is dominated by questions about Islamic revivalism in the 1990s, and how, during this period, religious women started demanding modern and Western values and access to spaces such as universities and the political arenas. This literature, often unavoidably, furthered the (mis)understanding that Islamic visibility (headscarf) is the immediate indicator of religiosity, Muslimhood, or Islamism. However, Sayan-Cengiz’s work ethnographically demonstrates how complex the picture is for many women, especially those from the lower class.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020743817000460
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/299558
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