Encountering the Transnational: Women, Islam and the Politics of Interpretation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Encountering the Transnational

Women, Islam and the Politics of Interpretation, 1st Edition

By Meena Sharify-Funk


254 pages

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Hardback: 9780754671237
pub: 2008-04-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315579474
pub: 2016-04-29
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When Muslim women from diverse national and cultural contexts meet one another through transnational dialogue and networking, what happens to their sense of identity and social agency? Addressing this question, Meena Sharify-Funk encountered women activists and intellectuals in North America, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia - women whose lives and visions have become linked by 'the transnational' despite their differing circumstances and intellectual backgrounds. The resultant work provides a rich and cliché-bursting account of women's reflections on a wide range of topics including: the status of women in Islam, the role of women as interpreters of religious norms, the relationship between secular and religious forms of self-identification, perceptions of Islamic-Western relations, experiences of marginalization, and opportunities for empowerment. Giving careful attention both to common threads in Muslim women's experiences and to the unique voices of remarkable women, this is a compelling account of conversations that are bringing new energy and dynamism into women's activism in a world of collapsing distances.


'…illuminates the rich and diverse transnational terrains across which women today create, contest and debate the meaning of Islam. This unique and groundbreaking study - ranging in its coverage from Morocco to Iran to Pakistan to Malaysia - reconfigures our understanding of global Muslim networking. Essential and compelling reading for scholars and practitioners alike.' Peter Mandaville, George Mason University, USA 'As a result of the author's hard work, this is a publication that breaks many old "fixed" stereotypes concerning women in Middle East culture and I have no hesitation in recommending it to sociologists and scientists interested in the Middle East, as well as to those who are concerned about the concepts of transnationality, modernisation and contemporary Muslim society.' Political Studies Review 'Encountering the Transnational is a welcome addition to the emergent field of Muslim women’s leadership with the analyses that it proposes of the new nexus of gender, activism, and transnationalism. Implications of this new convergence are important with its identification of new forces that push social actors to ’reengage’ with Islamic texts and Islamic identity and to foster what Sharify-Funk calls the new ’hermeneutic turn’.' Australian Religion Studies Review

About the Author

Meena Sharify-Funk is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

About the Series

Gender in a Global/Local World

Gender in a Global/Local World

Gender in a Global/Local World critically explores the uneven and often contradictory ways in which global processes and local identities come together. Much has been and is being written about globalization and responses to it but rarely from a critical, historical, gendered perspective. Yet, these processes are profoundly gendered albeit in different ways in particular contexts and times. The changes in social, cultural, economic and political institutions and practices alter the conditions under which women and men make and remake their lives. New spaces have been created - economic, political, social - and previously silent voices are being heard. North-South dichotomies are being undermined as increasing numbers of people and communities are exposed to international processes through migration, travel, and communication, even as marginalization and poverty intensify for many in all parts of the world. The series features monographs and collections which explore the tensions in a ’global/local world’, and includes contributions from all disciplines in recognition that no single approach can capture these complex processes.

Please contact one of the editors if you have a proposal for consideration:

Jane Parpart: Jane.Parpart@umb.edu

Pauline Gardiner Barber: Pauline.Gardiner.Barber@Dal.Ca

Marianne H. Marchand: marianneh.marchand@udlap.mx

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes