Conflicting Imperatives of Modesty and Vanity Among Young Women in the Arabian Gulf

Wearing modest Muslim dress in public is intended to conceal women’s sexuality and promote a virtuous public domain. Nevertheless, emerging bodily adornment practices in some Gulf region countries serve the contradictory purposes of revealing female wearers and celebrating fashion. We explore the conflicting imperatives of modesty and vanity embodied in young Qatari and Emirati women’s adornment choices in the public sphere. Using observation and insights from in-depth interviews with twenty-three Emirati and Qatari female students we explore the dynamics underlying these conflicting imperatives of virtue and beauty and capture some of the ambivalence inherent in these performative constructions of female identity.



Citation:

Rana Sobh, Russell Belk, and Justin Gressel (2011) ,"Conflicting Imperatives of Modesty and Vanity Among Young Women in the Arabian Gulf", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 429-431.

Authors

Rana Sobh, Qatar University, Qatar
Russell Belk, York University, Canada
Justin Gressel, University of Texas, PanAmerican, USA



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011



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