- The Dutch and the face veil: the politics of discomfort
- Social Anthropology
- Volume | Issue number
- 17 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article investigates how, within less than a decade, face-veiling has turned from a non-issue into a threat to the Dutch nation-state. With good citizenship increasingly defined in cultural terms, politicians have used a strong affective discourse of dislike that produces a sense of national belonging amongst a wide range of people, but excludes face-veiling women. Not (only) the act of face-covering, but the fact that Muslim women are engaged in these acts causes discomfort, anxiety and resentment, as the very same women who are defined as oppressed, turn out to challenge Dutch normativities about gender and sociality through their corporeal presence.
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