Home Institution

Duke University

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change


The goal of this research is to obtain data about the rhetoric of the modern hijab. This research wants to prove that the hijab is dynamic and not static by looking at the new styles of the hijab in Amman, Jordan. It wants to disprove the idea that the hijab is one of the many examples of the outdated practices of the hijab. The study has three hypothesis:(1) the hijab is dynamic and not static, and it has changed in style because of modernization and westernization. (2) The new styles of the hijab are not absolutely religious. (3) Lastly it hypotheses that the new rhetoric of the hijab and the new styles of the hijab give Muslim muhajabe women agency instead of taking away their agency. The study collected data from 4 interviews, 47 surveys, and two male and female focus groups, composed of 5 participants in each group. In total it collected data from 61 respondents. This research also contains a literature review of a diverse group of works on topics related to the study. This study has found that indeed the new styles of the hijab found in Jordan in combining modern Western styles and fashion with the religious requirements of Islam prove the dynamic nature of the hijab. Also the fact that most of the participants in this study wear what they themselves consider the wrong or half hijab proves that the reasons for wearing these new styles is beyond religion. Furthermore, although religiously the new styles of hijab give women agency, according to the culture and traditions the new styles of the hijab do not give women agency. Finally it is important to note that due to the small sample size and other limitations these contents and findings of this study should not be generalized.


Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Liturgy and Worship | Religion | Women's Studies


Article Location