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In The Border Zone: The Predicament Of The Next Generation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the negotiations by market women and by female teachers of the class boundaries, as determined by the dominant discourse. First, it deconstructs the tenability of the subject positions allotted by the dominant Islamist discourse, which depend on those boundaries. Marriage, motherhood, and work in relation to education constituted the most important aspects of class difference in Hajja’s and Umm Khalthoum’s narrative, as well as of the notion of proper female Muslimhood. Consequently, the chapter looks for dissent, conflict and tension within each class while focusing on the relations between these aspects. Finally the chapter looks at the reflections and actions of working women, who in their negotiations of the discourse on gender, appeared to question and stretch, threaten and overcome, confirm and mould the boundaries between the elite class of female teachers and the low class of market women.

Keywords: dominant Islamist discourse; female Muslimhood; female teachers; Hajja; market women; Umm Khalthoum; working women

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