Special Issue "Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Viola Thimm

Department of Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia, Asia-Africa-Institute, University of Hamburg, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, main building, Flügel Ost, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: gender relations and intersectionality; kinship and family networks; identity and identity politics; Islam and its socio-cultural entanglements; cultural practices of mobility; educational research; consumer culture and consumption; cultural practices in Southeast and Western Asia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Submissions are invited for a Special Issue on Muslim mobilities and gender in national and transnational contexts. For this Special Issue, we are particularly interested in works that incorporate historical and socio-political understandings of Muslim pilgrims, tourists and migrant mobility and settlement. Research that employs interdisciplinary analyses of contemporary gender orders, norms and practices in this regard, as part of a net of social relations organizing power and inequality, are particularly welcome.

The goal of this Special Issue is to advance the literature on how Muslim religious conceptions of travel and movement intersect with gender. Contributions might address, for example, how Muslim perceptions of space and place influence mobility and are influenced by gender; how concepts of travel and mobility are negotiated by Muslim women and men; how religious beliefs, institutions, practices, and discourses shape the spatial experiences of Muslim women and men; how theorizations of pilgrimage, tourism, migration and other forms of Muslim travel can be grasped with a gender optic; or any other questions that engage the reciprocal influences among Islam, mobility, gender, and the broader society. Articles can be theoretically or empirically driven, should be aimed at a broad, interdisciplinary audience, and should critically examine questions at the intersection of Islam, mobility, and gender. Our aim is a collection from a wide range of disciplines (e.g., anthropology, sociology, religious studies, Islamic studies, gender studies, geography, and education) that brings together a variety of emergent disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on and methodological approaches to these issues at global and local scales.

Dr. Viola Thimm
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

References

Ahmed, Nilufer (2016). Family, citizenship and Islam: the changing experiences of migrant women ageing in London. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Fábos, Anita and Isotalo, Riina (eds.) (2014). Managing Muslim Mobilities: Between Spiritual Geographies and the Global Security Regime. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Falah, Ghazi-Walid and Nagel, Caroline (2005): Geographies of Muslim Women: Gender, Religion, Space. New York: Guilford Publications, 2005

Secor, Anna J. (2002). The Veil and Urban Space in Istanbul: Women’s dress, mobility and Islamic knowledge. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 9(1): 5–22.

Shanneik, Yafa (2012). Religion and Diasporic Dwelling: Algerian Muslim Women in Ireland. Religion and Gender. 2(1), pp.80–100. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.30

Silvey, Rachel (2014). Transnational Domestication: State Power and Indonesian Migrant Women in Saudi Arabia. CLARA Working Paper, No. 17.

Werbner, Pnina (2015). Sacrifice, Purification and Gender in the Hajj. In: Mols, L. und M. Buitelaar (eds.): Hajj: Global Interactions through Pilgrimage, pp. 27-39. Leiden: Sidestone.

Keywords

  • Spirituality of travel
  • Religious travel
  • Gender as social structure
  • Pilgrimage, tourism, and migration
  • Space and place
  • Intersectionality

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Male and Female Emirati Medical Clerks’ Perceptions of the Impact of Gender and Mobility on Their Professional Careers
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 109; doi:10.3390/socsci6030109
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Medicine has undergone profound changes in terms of the number of women entering the profession with postulated implications of this ‘feminization’ for the profession. The present phenomenological study sought to gain insight into the experiences of final year male and female Emirati
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Background: Medicine has undergone profound changes in terms of the number of women entering the profession with postulated implications of this ‘feminization’ for the profession. The present phenomenological study sought to gain insight into the experiences of final year male and female Emirati medical students (clerks) in terms of the impact of gender on their careers. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 of the 27 clerks. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Findings: There was consensus that the gender profile of medicine in the United Arab Emirates was changing as opportunities emerged for Emirati women to branch into different medical specialties. These opportunities were, however, local or regional due largely to travel restrictions on women. Females would thus receive a less highly regarded board certification than males who were encouraged to specialize abroad. On their return, males would be appointed as consultants or as high-ranking administrators. Participants also acknowledged that like their roles in their society, some medical specialties were ‘gendered’, e.g., surgery (male) and pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology (female). Conclusion: Although religious and cultural traditions around gender and mobility will influence the professional careers of male and female Emirati medical graduates, the situation is, however, changing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
Open AccessArticle Images of Authentic Muslim Selves: Gendered Moralities and Constructions of Arab Others in Contemporary Indonesia
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 103; doi:10.3390/socsci6030103
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 3 September 2017
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Abstract
In contemporary Indonesia, Muslims increasingly define themselves by othering fellow Muslims, including Arab Muslims. This article examines how Indonesian Muslims, who have traveled to and/or resided in the Middle East, construct their social identities in relation to Arab others. Ethnographic research with labor
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In contemporary Indonesia, Muslims increasingly define themselves by othering fellow Muslims, including Arab Muslims. This article examines how Indonesian Muslims, who have traveled to and/or resided in the Middle East, construct their social identities in relation to Arab others. Ethnographic research with labor migrants and pilgrims, and a cultural analysis of cinematic representations of Indonesian students in Cairo, show that conceptions of gendered moralities feature strongly in the ways in which these particular Indonesian Muslims define their authentic Muslim selves, as distinct from Arab others. They attribute ideal male and female characteristic features to Asian Islamic identities, while they portray objectionable ones as Arab culture. This implies that self-representations play a crucial role in the ways in which Indonesian Muslims relate to a region, culture and people long viewed as the “center” of Islamic culture. The representations of Arab others and Indonesian selves eventually lead to contestations of religious authenticity and social class. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
Open AccessArticle Shia Marriage Practices: Karbala as lieux de mémoire in London
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 100; doi:10.3390/socsci6030100
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Muslim marriages have gained much attention in public debates and academic research. This article examines marriage practices among displaced Iraqi Shia migrants in the UK. Only a few studies have examined this group and fewer by investigating their marriage practices as a way
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Muslim marriages have gained much attention in public debates and academic research. This article examines marriage practices among displaced Iraqi Shia migrants in the UK. Only a few studies have examined this group and fewer by investigating their marriage practices as a way to preserve their religious and cultural memory (Halbwachs 1992). The article is based on Pierre Nora’s concept of lieux de mémoire, which refers to spaces, objects or events that have a significant meaning to a particular groups’ collective memory (Nora 1989, 1996). I argue in this paper that the transnational aspects of cultural memory expressed in Shia marriage practices such as rituals, images, and objects among the Iraqi Twelver Shia women in the UK can be regarded as examples of transnational Shia lieux de mémoire. These marriage practices, although appropriated for various personal, social, and religious memories outside of any national framework, are still highly politicized. The article focuses on the practice of sofrat al-‘aqd (for short sofra) that provides women with the ability to articulate their religious and social identity through material objects placed on the sofra that act as women’s transnational Shia lieux de mémoire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
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Open AccessArticle Mattering Moralities: Learning Corporeal Modesty through Muslim Diasporic Clothing Practices
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 97; doi:10.3390/socsci6030097
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Questions of ‘coveredness’ in Islamic codes of dress, particularly as they apply to women, are often framed through the symbolic statements that they enable or disable, or through discourses on public versus private spaces. Rather than focus on these disciplining dimensions, this article
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Questions of ‘coveredness’ in Islamic codes of dress, particularly as they apply to women, are often framed through the symbolic statements that they enable or disable, or through discourses on public versus private spaces. Rather than focus on these disciplining dimensions, this article explores observations about embodied practices for clothing oneself ‘modestly’, and some of the paradoxes thereof, which emerged in the context of research about diasporic mobilities of European-Moroccans in Morocco. Drawing heavily on Karen Barad and a materialist phenomenological approach to corporeality, this approach produces an understanding of how moral bodies materialize with and through clothing. By observing and following the mobilities of participants across spaces dominated by ‘Muslim’ and ‘Western’ regimes of modesty, certain dissonances of their practices in these differentiated spaces indicate ways bodies, clothing and moralities are intra-actively entangled. Proposing ethnography as a diffractive apparatus, the analysis incorporates participant reports, as well as embodied learning through ethnographic time. By approaching this ‘disciplining’ diffractively, all agents–knowledgeable bodies, malleable clothes and spatially moral gazes–are considered as intra-actively influencing each other, mattering into ‘modesty’ where ‘subjected’ bodies, as well as clothing and regimes of modesty are adapting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
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Open AccessArticle Mobilizing Conflict Testimony: A Lens of Mobility for the Study of Documentary Practices in the Kashmir Conflict
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 88; doi:10.3390/socsci6030088
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 6 August 2017
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Abstract
In this paper I introduce a lens of mobility for the study of documentary film practices and gender in zones of conflict. By drawing on my qualitative research regarding the practice of the independent filmmaker Iffat Fatima, I will argue that a lens
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In this paper I introduce a lens of mobility for the study of documentary film practices and gender in zones of conflict. By drawing on my qualitative research regarding the practice of the independent filmmaker Iffat Fatima, I will argue that a lens of mobility helps to grasp highly mobile media practices both conceptually and methodologically. Through a lens of mobility, my focus lies on the potential of documentary film to open the imaginative boundaries of conflict zones and to politically and emotionally mobilize the testimony offered from everyday life in a highly militarized zone. This specifically requires the tracing of moments of political mobilization beyond cognitive questions of conflicting narratives and representations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
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Open AccessArticle Gender, Madness, Religion, and Iranian-American Identity: Observations on a 2006 Murder Trial in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 85; doi:10.3390/socsci6030085
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract
Using participant observation, oral history interviews, and a study of court transcripts, Internet chats, and press coverage of a 2006 murder trial of an Iranian-American man in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, we can better appreciate the dynamic intersection of ethnicity, religion, and gender in constructing
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Using participant observation, oral history interviews, and a study of court transcripts, Internet chats, and press coverage of a 2006 murder trial of an Iranian-American man in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, we can better appreciate the dynamic intersection of ethnicity, religion, and gender in constructing the social identity of Iranian-Americans. Brian Hosayn Yasipour, who immigrated to the United States in 1969, was convicted of murder in the third degree for killing his four-year-old daughter in 2001 during a custody dispute with his estranged, Iranian-born wife. He managed to avoid the death penalty. Debates about his guilt in America hinged on assessments of his mental state at the time of the crime and this, in turn, hinged on debates about how normative his actions would have been in Iran. Until his arrest, Brian had led a highly mobile life—moving back and forth between America, where he lived as a Christian, and Iran, where he visited as a Muslim. Was he a calculating Iranian-Islamic patriarch, outraged at the defiance of his wife and the attitudes of American courts toward his paternal rights? Or was he, per the court transcripts, a “white Christian” and survivor of childhood rape back in Iran, who lapsed into madness under the strain of his second divorce? Brian actively blurred these issues in court appearances before and after the murder—often expressing his agency in terms of preserving his imaginary and physical mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
Open AccessArticle Negotiating Space: The Construction of a New Spatial Identity for Palestinian Muslim Women in Israel
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(3), 72; doi:10.3390/socsci6030072
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 8 July 2017
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Abstract
This article examines the impact of space on Muslim Palestinian women living in ethnically divided and deindustrialized cities and the roles ethnic marginalization and patriarchy play in shaping their spatial experiences. It examines how women negotiate their roles within space and establish themselves
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This article examines the impact of space on Muslim Palestinian women living in ethnically divided and deindustrialized cities and the roles ethnic marginalization and patriarchy play in shaping their spatial experiences. It examines how women negotiate their roles within space and establish themselves as actors therein. This study also explores the connection between mobility and space in the case of Palestinian Muslim women in Israel. It considers whether and how space and mobility are connected for this minority group. Muslim women in Israel, who were once rarely involved in spaces outside their homes, fields, and villages, have broken existing boundaries to enter new economic, social, and educational environments. However, the gendering of space for these women has been profoundly changed and challenged by a variety of factors, namely state interference, modernization, and Islamism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
Open AccessArticle Reimagining the Hajj
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(2), 36; doi:10.3390/socsci6020036
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
Throughout the Middle East and the Islamic world, political and religious leaders are being pulled into sharpening debates over rival approaches to reforming the Hajj. For at least two decades, Hajj controversies have deepened with rising death tolls among the pilgrims and with
[...] Read more.
Throughout the Middle East and the Islamic world, political and religious leaders are being pulled into sharpening debates over rival approaches to reforming the Hajj. For at least two decades, Hajj controversies have deepened with rising death tolls among the pilgrims and with soaring complaints about corruption and incompetence against pilgrimage managers in Saudi Arabia and dozens of other countries. Demands for Hajj reform are reaching new peaks after Saudi officials recently revealed stunning details of the scope and magnitude of pilgrim fatalities during the last 14 years. The Saudi data leave little doubt that the quality of care for Hajjis varies enormously depending on several key factors which policy makers and religious leaders must address with greater honesty and determination. Year in and year out, the most vulnerable pilgrim populations are poor people, women, and children from across Africa and Asia as well as foreign workers, refugees, and illegal migrants living in Saudi Arabia. Most of the current proposals for Hajj reform ignore these high-risk groups. Saudi planners focus on promoting year-round pilgrimage to boost tourism revenues and high-end infrastructure. In most other countries, government-run Hajj agencies are busy cutting market-sharing deals with private business cartels and their political patrons. The combined effect of these policies is to weaken what remains of already inadequate regulations that are vital to the protection of all Hajjis. Meanwhile, support is also growing for more sweeping proposals to reimagine and reinvent the Hajj instead of fine-tuning the status quo. Some of these reforms are particularly likely to test the ingenuity and influence of leaders from all backgrounds because they challenge longstanding custom. A few of the most unconventional suggestions include lengthening the Hajj season to several months as well as linking the Hajj to pilgrimages and festivals of other world religions throughout the year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender)
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