At the Intersection of Neo-liberalism and Islam: Being a Muslim Woman in Turkish Universities

  • Pınar EnneliEmail author
  • Çağlar Enneli


Enneli and Enneli provide an account of the interaction between Islam and neo-liberalism in Turkey on the basis of female university students who openly express their religious identities by wearing headscarf. The chapter underlines how Islamic expressions and representations have recently become much more apparent and used for providing privileges in the unequal economic structure. Based on a qualitative research in two universities, one private and one public, Enneli and Enneli draw attention to the students’ dissimilar modes of marking headscarf and religiosity and conclude with a relationship between them and the labour market opportunities, thought to be available in the future.


Muslim Woman Muslim Community Social Field Career Expectation Muslim Identity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ajala, I. (2014). Muslims in France and Great Britain: Issues of securitization, identities and loyalties post 9/11. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 34(2), 123–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alaranta, T. A. (2014). Political parties and the production of an Islamist – secularist cleavage in Turkey. Approaching Religion, 4(2), 113–124.Google Scholar
  3. Allen, C. (2015). ‘People hate you because of the way you dress’: Understanding the invisible experiences of veiled British Muslim women victims of Islamophobia. International Review of Victimology, 21(3), 287–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anisa, M. (2016). Active citizenship, dissent and civic consciousness: Young Muslims redefining citizenship on their own terms. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 23(4), 454–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arat, Y. (2010). Religion, politics and gender equality in Turkey: Implications of a democratic paradox? Third World Quarterly, 31(6), 869–884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Atasoy, Y. (2009). Islam’s marriage with neoliberalism: State transformation in Turkey. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Balkan, E., & Öncü, A. (2015). Reproduction of the Islamic middle class in Turkey. In N. Balkan, E. Balkan, & A. Öncü (Eds.), The neoliberal landscape and the rise of Islamist capital in Turkey (pp. 166–200). New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  8. Bangstad, S. (2013, 27–28 September). On xenophobia and nativism. Recycling fatred: Racism(s) in Europe today. Brussels, Belgium. Brussels: European Network Against Racism aisbl (ENAR), pp. 87–94.Google Scholar
  9. Berkes, N. (1964). The development of secularism in Turkey. Montreal: McGill University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. J. D. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. COHE. (2014). Higher education system in Turkey. Available at:’de+Y%C3%BCksek%C3%B6%C4%9Fretim+Sistemi2.pdf/9027552a-962f-4b03-8450-3d1ff8d56ccc (Accessed 15 December 2015).
  12. Coşar, S., & Yeğenoğlu, M. (2011). New grounds for patriarchy in Turkey? Gender policy in the age of AKP. South European Society and Politics, 16(4), 555–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Göle, N. (1991). Modern mahrem: Medeniyet ve örtünme. İstanbul: Metis.Google Scholar
  14. Gubrium, J. F., & Holstein, J. A. (1999). At the border of narrative and ethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 28(5), 561–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gürcan, E. C., & Peker, E. (2015). A class analytic approach to the Gezi Park events: Challenging the ‘middle class’ myth. Capital & Class, 39(2), 321–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hofhansel, C. (2010). Accommodating Islam and the utility of national models: The German case. West European Politics, 33(2), 191–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hosgör, E. (2015). The question of AKP hegemony: Consent without consensus. In N. Balkan, E. Balkan, & A. Öncü (Eds.), The neoliberal landscape and the rise of Islamist capital in Turkey (pp. 201–234). New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  18. İlyasoğlu, A. (2013). Örtülü kimlik: İslamcı kadın kimliğinin oluşum öğeleri. İstanbul: Metis.Google Scholar
  19. Jelen, B. (2011). Educated, independent, and covered: The professional aspirations and experiences of university-educated hijabi in contemporary Turkey. Women’s Studies International Forum, 34(4), 308–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kadıoğlu, A. (2006). Muslim feminist debates on the question of headscarf in contemporary Turkey. In I. Abu-Rabi‘ (Ed.), The Blackwell companion to contemporary Islamic thought. (pp. 609–623). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  21. Kaya, I. (2014). Contemporary Turkey: An Islamic-capitalist variety of modernity? Social Science Information, 53(2), 197–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lindisfarne, N. (2002). Elhamdülillah laikiz: cinsiyet, İslam ve Türk milliyetçiliği. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları.Google Scholar
  23. Mac an Ghaill, M. M., & Haywood, C. (2014). Pakistani and Bangladeshi young men: Re-racialization, class and masculinity within the neo-liberal school. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35(5), 753–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mardin, Ş. (1989). Religion and social change in modern Turkey: The case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  25. Modood, T. (2015) Multiculturalism and moderate secularism (EUI Working Paper). Italy: European University Institute.Google Scholar
  26. OECD. (2014). OECD economic surveys: Turkey 2014. Available at:, (Accessed 15 December 2015).
  27. OECD. (2015). OECD Better Life Index-Turkey. Available at (Accessed 15 December 2015).
  28. Onar, N. F., & Baç, M. M. (2011). The adultery and headscarf debates in Turkey: Fusing “EU-niversal” and “alternative” modernities? Women’s Studies International Forum, 34(5), 378–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Öniş, Z. (2003). Domestic politics versus global dynamics: Towards a political economy of the 2000 and 2001 financial crises in Turkey. Turkish Studies, 4(2), 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Peres, R. (2012). A history of the headscarf ban in Turkey. Turkish Review, 2(5), 34–46.Google Scholar
  31. Peucker, M., & Akbarzadeh, S. (2012). The vicious cycle of stereotyping: Muslims in Europe and Australia. In F. M. Mansouri & V. M. Marotta (Eds.), Muslims in the West and the challenges of belonging (pp. 171–197). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Seggie, F. N. (2015). Academic and cultural experiences of covered women in Turkish higher education. Comparative Education, 51(4), 575–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stokes, M. (1993). The Arabesk Debate: Music and musicians in modern Turkey. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Sunier, T. (2014). Domesticating Islam: Exploring academic knowledge production on Islam and Muslims in European societies. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(6), 1138–1155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. TBMM Araştırma Merkezi (2015) Türkiye’de üniversite mezunu nüfusun işgücü durumu. Available at: (Accessed 15 December 2015).
  36. Winter, B. (2010). Women and the ‘Turkish paradox’: What the headscarf is covering up. Modern Greek Studies (Australia & New Zealand), 14, 216–238.Google Scholar
  37. Yılmaz, S. (2014). Social mobility and its discontents: The center-periphery cleavage of Turkey. Tarih Kültür ve Sanat Araştırmaları Dergisi, 3(2), 28–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentAbant Izzet Baysal UniversityBoluTurkey
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyAnkara UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations