Islamic fashion, media debates and styles of interaction: sartorial strategies on the Copenhagen scene

Connie Carøe Christiansen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

Abstract

Currently, in Copenhagen streets as in many other European cities an increasing diversity in the style of clothing which appeals to believing and fashion conscious Muslim women can be observed. These styles I loosely term Islamic fashion, i.e. a style of clothing that seeks to appear attractive and at the same time to match an Islamic moral code or aesthetics. In a Danish context, I argue, these disagreements have a bearing on strategies of Muslim women in terms of relations vis-à-vis the non-Muslim majority population. The debate among Muslims is seconded by a media debate on Islam and again like elsewhere it is highly politicized Since the 1990‟s Muslim women‟s headscarf - or hijab - has constantly reappeared as an issue of the on-going media debates, but the properties of the hijab (headscarf) as a consumer item (Navaro-Yashin 2004, Sandikci & Ger 2007) have escaped these debates. Instead various debaters in several Danish media have asked if a woman can wear a hijab in a number of professions. The most vociferous debaters have either been of feminist or right wing observance - or both. They agree that the hijab is not only a sign of a Muslim woman, but also of an oppressed woman, a statement which they apparently do not find any need to qualify. During the past decade debaters of Muslim, and usually non-Danish or not-so-easy-to-define ethnicity are to be found in the media debates - blogging on the Internet, writing columns for newspapers and debating in panels. And a substantial part of them are women. The situation invites the question, what is communicated through Islamic styled clothing? Does Islamic fashion make a difference for the representation of Muslims in a European context?

Translated title of the contributionIslamisk mode, mediedebatter og interaktionstil: stilmæssige strategier på den københavnske scene
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAHRC Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme / CRONEM Conference 2009Diasporas, Migration and Identities: Crossing Boundaries, New Directions - Guildford, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jun 200912 Jun 2009

Conference

ConferenceAHRC Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme / CRONEM Conference 2009Diasporas, Migration and Identities: Crossing Boundaries, New Directions
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGuildford
Period11/06/200912/06/2009

Keywords

  • muslim women
  • media participation
  • micro-politics

Cite this

Christiansen, C. C. (2009). Islamic fashion, media debates and styles of interaction: sartorial strategies on the Copenhagen scene. Paper presented at AHRC Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme / CRONEM Conference 2009Diasporas, Migration and Identities: Crossing Boundaries, New Directions, Guildford, United Kingdom. http://www.surrey.ac.uk/Arts/CRONEM/CRONEM-papers09/Christiansen.pdf