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“The Politics of the Headscarf in the United States”


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/28

A new book is out or about to be published. It is entitled The Politics of the Headscarf in the United States.

Consider this analogous to a political tract about the economy of political life but, rather placed within the world of the culture, the economy of the culture or, more properly, the sub-cultures extant and moving within the larger society.

The co-authors of the book — Bozena C. WelborneAubrey L. WestfallÖzge Çelik RussellSarah A. Tobin — place the price tag at Hardcover — $95.00/Paperback — $22.95.

The cultural economics of the text focus on the headscarf, which becomes an important issue of identity for many Muslim women and of liberation for many ex-Muslim women.

With the focus of the text within the American geographic landscape and the American-Muslim cultural milieu, we find the conversations on social and political effects of the practice on Muslim-American women, but, I would add, also the impacts of women who have left Islam or who may be considering becoming Muslim in a serious fashion.

All of the authors — and taking this information from the content sketch provided in the link above — argue the head covering is not politically motivated within the American context, but it is does affirm Muslim identity in some uniquely American ways.

While working within and going beyond the standard political debates around the notion and suggested practice of the Islamic head covering within the American landscape, the authors point to the simple implications of wearing the headscarf as well as the broader derivative effects of the practice within the United States.

Some issues or concerns come from the lasting impacts on individual and collective identity. The means and ways in which this changes the notion of a diverse democracy and, potentially, the attitudes about the principle of diversity within a pluralistic democracy seen in the United States.

The sense of citizenship and being a part of the mainstream society. The text takes into account both qualitative and quantitative data, assesses and analyzes the information, and then integrates this into the 2,000 — approximately — survey responses from Muslim-American women from 49 states.

There are 72 interviews with Muslim women living in the US. With all the backdrop and content as premises, the co-authors argue the idea of identity and the creation of boundaries with the head scarf derive particular political implications for the future of the American landscape.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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