De-Territorialized Islamisms

Women’s Agency of Resistance and Acquiescence

Authored by: Shahin Gerami

Routledge Handbook of Political Islam

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415484732
eBook ISBN: 9780203154144
Adobe ISBN: 9781136577239


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Islamist movements are multi-faceted narratives of patriarchy, traditionalism and globalization. Globalization has created a complex and fast-moving construct that informs Islamist movements at home and in the diaspora. Undeniably, two strands inform the contour of these movements: the gender arrangement and de-territorialization. Nuanced elaborations are offered to tease out women’s agency inside the movement and in resistance to it. Women’s resistance to demands of domesticity and modesty has been clearly marked as the embodiment of agency. Whether other forms of response, acquiescence or embracement of these codes constitute agentic actions has been debated mostly by Western-trained feminists, including this author. In this article, borrowing from Bourdieu, I will interrogate the habitus of agency with regard to its fields of expression.

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