Headscarves and porno-chic: Disciplining girls' bodies in the European multicultural society

Linda Duits*, Liesbet Van Zoonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article addresses girls' dress, which has become controversial, especially in contemporary multicultural Europe. Using the Dutch public debate about the headscarf, belly shirts, visible G-strings, and other forms of 'porno-chic', the authors show that these seemingly separate debates are held together by the regulation of female sexuality. Through their analysis of the headscarves and porno-chic debate, the authors argue that women's sexuality and girls' bodies in particular have become the metonymic location for many a contemporary social dilemma: of the multicultural society when it concerns the scarf, of feminism and public morality when it concerns porno-chic. They conclude that despite the widely different appearance of girls wearing headscarves or porno-chic, both groups of girls are submitted to the meta-narratives of dominant discourse: the state, school, public opinion, parents and other social institutions 'resignify' their everyday practices as inappropriate, and reprieve them from the power to define their own actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

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