Islam as a Social Force in Europe: Islamic Fashion and the Politics of Presence
Project leader: Professor Annelies Moors, Universiteit van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Whereas Islamic fashion in the Middle East has become a topic of serious research, studies in Europe have remained limited to discussions on veiling, often seen as a sign of the subordination of Muslim women. This proposal, in contrast, centered on the public presence of young women wearing styles of dress that are both recognizably Islamic and fashionable. It traced the conditions under which Islamic fashion has emerged in the European public sphere, investigates how the tensions between Islam and fashion are negotiated, and analyzes the effects of such emerging embodied practices of young Muslim women on the presence of Islam as a social force in Europe.
The project used a grounded theory approach, and the set-up of the project was interactive and comparative. Empirical research questions centered on the production – consumption cycle, the relations between Islam and fashion, and the local appropriations of transnational relations. Research was conducted in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.