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The NationScott does a good job of conveying the hysteria that surrounded the foulard debate in France...Scott's broad and exhaustive research makes for a bracing account of the debate.
— Laila Lalami
"Brilliant, crisp, and cogently argued. Joan W. Scott's novel and trenchant discursive analysis exposes the prejudices of the reductionist French versions of secularism and feminism regarding Islam and French Muslims from North African and Arab origins. The study is illuminating far beyond the French case, as former colonial and/or working subjects struggle for integration and recognition of their difference."—Abdellah Hammoudi, Princeton University
"Carefully argued, insightful and humane, Joan Scott's The Politics of the Veil is far and away the best account of France's identity crisis that was signaled by the famous headscarf affair. The final chapter, on the symbolic meanings of the headscarf/veil, is the most original and brilliant piece of writing that I have read on this topic. This is an indispensable book, transcending the particularity of French obsessions and forcing the reader to think about wider political problems that concern us all."—Talal Asad, author of On Suicide Bombing
"Scott traces the history and politics of veil controversies in France and draws apart intertwined strands, starting with the legacy of racism from the colonial past. She persuasively argues for the negotiation of cultural and religious differences rather than their negation. This book will be required reading for all those concerned with the integration of Muslims into Western Christian societies."—Beth Baron, author of Egypt as a Woman: Nationalism, Gender, and Politics
"This is an important and timely book that will challenge the dominant terms used to debate the French government's ban on the veil in public schools. Through a careful analysis of historical and contemporary French discourse on Muslims and Arabs, Scott helps us see how the controversy over the veil is indexical of a deep paradox that haunts the ideology of French Republicanism of which the principle of lacité is a crucial part."—Saba Mahmood, author of Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject
Chapter 1: The Headscarf Controversies 21
Chapter 2: Racism 42
Chapter 3: Secularism 90
Chapter 4: Individualism 124
Chapter 5: Sexuality 151
Posted November 10, 2011
No text was provided for this review.