Hermeneutics and Honor: Negotiating Female "public" Space in Islamic/ate Societies

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Harvard CMES, 1999 - Political Science - 222 pages
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Women's traversal of public space in Islamic/ate societies and the ensuing process of negotiating gendered identities are the central concerns of this collection of essays. The dichotomy between private and public spheres, upheld as axiomatic for most societies, has recently been challenged by scholars as an artificial construct. For women in particular, the demarcation between the two spheres has become blurred by the enormous public consequences of their private behaviour. Elaborate cultural codes of honour and traditional, masculinist interpretations of scripture have reinforced the public-private polarity and restricted Muslim women's access to the public realm as conventionally defined. The distinguished contributors to this volume provide insight into how women from different social strata and historical periods in various Islamic/ate societies have creatively engaged with these limitations upon their behaviour.
 

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Contents

The Hermeneutics of Gendered Space
1
Challenges Confronting the Palestinian
29
Rape in Pakistan
55
Belonging to the National
70
Reconfiguring National
89
Performance in TwentiethCentury Egypt
116
Social Class and Public
140
A Look at the Middle
159
Contributors
189
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About the author (1999)

Asma Afsaruddin is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Notre Dame.

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