The hijab as a phenomenon of constructing and contesting identity: the example of contemporary Novi Pazar

  • Miloš Đurović Faculty of Culture and Tourism University of Donja Gorica Podgorica
Keywords:
hijab, the body, Muslim women, identity, Novi Pazar

Abstract

This paper represents a consideration and an analysis of the relationship between the hijab as an article of clothing and the female body which can be understood as a field of social relations and struggles. The covered body of Muslim women and the meanings it carries can be understood and represented through a number of aspects. The paper explains the phenomenon of the hijab as a place of constructing and contesting identity using the example of contemporary Novi Pazar. The issue of the ban on wearing the hijab, as well as other coverings worn by Muslim women – the niqab and the burka, has for years been a burning issue in many (officially) secular democratic societies. Even though this issue has not been as prevalent in the Republic of Serbia as it has been in many Western European countries, I think that an anthropological analysis of the use of the hijab in Novi Pazar – which had since the 1990s become a visible and significant element of the Sandžak cultural milieu – has both theoretical and social significance. Through the analysis of embodiment and bodily practices of young Muslim women who wear a hijab, and the consideration of the female experience and the personal relationship of the women themselves to the body, “covering” and their identities, we are given an insight into a more personal and more intimate, but also a more open and versatile perspective.

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Published
2015-12-15
How to Cite
Đurović, Miloš. 2015. “The Hijab As a Phenomenon of Constructing and Contesting Identity: The Example of Contemporary Novi Pazar”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 10 (4), 821–838. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v10i4.2.