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Hijab in London: Metamorphosis, Resonance and Effects

By Emma Tarlo


This article is about the significance of dress as a visible indicator of difference in multicultural London. It focuses in particular on the hijab (Muslim woman’s headscarf), suggesting that its adoption by middle-class Muslim women is often a product, not so much of their cultural backgrounds as of the trans-cultural encounters they experience in a cosmopolitan urban environment. The article explores the transformative potential of hijab, demonstrating how its adoption not only acts as a moment of metamorphosis in the lives of wearers, but also has significant effects on the perceptions and actions of others. These themes of metamorphosis, visibility and agency are explored in relation to the complex conflicting resonance of hijab in the West, and how that resonance is constantly being reshaped both through contemporary political events and their media coverage as well as through the actions and campaigns of hijab wearers

Publisher: Sage
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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