Date of Award

9-11-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Robert D. Sattelmeyer - Chair

Abstract

By looking at the hijab in context in the political, social, and domestic spheres of Tunisia, one gains a clearer understanding of the hijab’s complexity and a clearer understanding of each of those spheres. Politically, the condemnation of the hijab reveals the tension between the dominant, secular party and the Islamist movement, and the political oppression still prevalent in Tunisia. Socially, the wearing of the hijab reveals the tension between Orientalist perceptions of the hijab and the desire of Muslim feminists to create an authentically Islamic meaning of the hijab compatible with feminist ideas. Domestically, the hijab reveals the tension that remains between localized structures of patriarchy and individual women’s pursuit of liberation beyond emancipation and secularization. Despite the reforms established in the Personal Status Code and the secularization campaign by the government, they are not enough to completely alter negative domestic perceptions of women.

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