Perceptions of work by pious Muslim students: A comparison between the Netherlands and Turkey
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Gender Studies, 25, 6, (2016), pp. 641-654
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Journal of Gender Studies
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies; Dynamics of gender
There are widespread ideas about Muslim women being oriented to life at home and not participating in paid labour. This article explores notions of work in the groups of practicing Muslim, veiled Turkish-Dutch students of higher education in the Netherlands and Turkish veiled higher education students in Turkey, as the best-prepared group of women for a future in paid work. The primary objective of this article is to see how respondents think about their futures with regard to paid work. Their views are compared drawing on in-depth interviews analysed using grounded theory. The article shows that respondents in both settings have a keen interest in taking up paid work while also raising families. However, ideas of work differ in the two settings. As the Turkish-Dutch are faced with rather gendered expectations in their local community, for them paid work is perceived more along gendered lines taking into account one's roles as wife and mother. Their choices of profession are rather gender-specific. However, Turkish respondents do not encounter gendered discourses of marriage and homemaking as strongly. Their choices of profession are less gender-specific; rather they choose their professions regarding perceptions of how much money they would make. The article shows that the different discourses regarding gender roles and work shape how they think about paid work differently in the two settings.
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