Secular Self-fashioning against ‘Islamization’: Beauty Practices and the Crafting of Secular Subjectivities among Middle-Class Women in Istanbul: European Configurations

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... Rather, these ideals are underpinned by a specific mode of emotionality (which might be referred to as subdued or contained). This is strongly put, but their collection shows that in contexts where questions of 'religion' and 'the secular' are begged, the full spectrum of human emotion can be seen, beyond a calm 'secular-liberal' mode: love, fear (Selby 2019; Gutkowski 2019); feeling free, feeling restricted (Selby 2019); resentment, frustration, 'joy', anxiety, pride (Liebelt 2019); repose, 'humility and awe' (Lee 2019, 56); 'wonder', happiness, trust, deference, frustration (Dehail 2019, 69-72); amusement, open-mindedness, 'leniency' (Aston 2019, 86, 90); 'contemplation', 'fascination', 'pleasure', sense of being at peace, 'nostalgia' (Mossière 2019, 101-3); repressed anger, cynicism, overwhelm, 'secretly ashamed' (Lichau 2019, 150-2); 'undetermined and blurred emotional practices of reticence and unease' (Lichau 2019, 154); tranquillity, stubbornness, superiority, suspicion (Burchardt and Griera 2019, 193, 195, 197 What about contexts like Iran or the Arab world where religion is socially, politically, and legally pervasive (cf Schielke 2018)? We can talk about how people feel about whatever is religiously hegemonic in a society and its boundaries in public and private life. ...
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Scholars have not yet discussed how secular and settler-colonial emotions intersect in contexts such as Palestine/Israel. This article addresses the gap. It explores one case of settler, secular emotion, using data from a larger study on secular Jewish-Israeli millennials after the 2014 Gaza War. It analyses how the Jewish-Israeli settler experience problematises ‘Jewish secular’ feelings and vice versa. Stressing the need to study secular sentiments intersectionally, it offers Bourdieu’s field and habitus as a new conceptual framework. This article argues that the dominant power dynamics within a given context will also predominantly shape people’s emotions – though, critically, not always.
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