32 SES 06 A, Coaching and Mentoring in Educational Organizations
Since the 1980s, a discursive change is happening in mosques and Islam belief. Before the 1980s, women hardly attended mosques. To make Islam visible in Germany, women were regarded as allies in mosques' efforts to portray them as more modern (Rosenow-Williams, 2012). From a Foucauldian perspective, this can be seen as a ’discursive event’, which led to an increase in womens’ participation in mosques over the past 20 years. Nevertheless, studies show that organized Islam is characterized by male dominance and age hierarchy (Nökel, 2002). Despite the opening of mosques for women, they largely occupy a marginal position in organized Islam, which is problematized by women (Stauch, 2004). Consequently, young Muslim women with a migration background pose the question how they are positioned in and through mosques and within the majority society and how they can present themselves as Muslim women in Germany (Jonker, 1999). As both hijab and mosques are iconographic signifiers of Islam in Europe, Muslims in Germany always have been discursively positioned to a certain extent. The hijab has been an iconic signifier of Muslim women in Europe, often signifying the ‘unmodern’, ‘suppressed’ women in Western countries (Ahmed, 1992).
This paper from an organisational education perspective focuses on mosques as transnational migrant organisations. Mosques have hardly been researched from the perspective of organisational theory, although they have existed in Germany since the 1970s (Pries & Sezgin, 2010). Mosques are not only a religious structure, but also an educational and welfare institution (Schiffauer, 2015) and thus relevant from an organisational education perspective regarding educational and integration issues. This is relevant because in the current discourse on Islam, mosques are discursively positioned as opposed to 'liberal' and 'secular' Europe and it is problematised whether they can be integrated into the (allegedly) gender-equal Europe at all (Bendixsen, 2013). At the same time, mosques have gained political attention in the context of integration, as they are consulted as representatives of Muslims living in Europe (Spielhaus, 2011) and try to correct negative stereotyping (Bendixsen 2013).
From a Foucauldian (1973) discourse methodological perspective, we ask which visibilities and speakabilities emerge through the institutionalized gaze of mosques and the performative subjectivities of young Muslim women. The institutionalized gaze of mosques will be analysed regarding its dimensions of ‘visual politics’ (Holert, 2008) materializing in policies, leaders’ positionings, rules, architectural gendered structures of the mosques and more. ‘Image activism’ is understood as visual self-representation of young Muslim women in different public spheres – be it copresent or in digital virtual spaces of multiplied individual and collective self-representation (Schankweiler, 2019).
This paper suggests and discusses a methodological approach to analyse the interplays of visual politics and image activism. More concrete, it focuses on German mosques and transnational Islam to analyse the discursive positioning and performative subjectivations between individuals and society from a discourse-oriented perspective. Thus, it proposes a methodological perspective to analyze (1) the discursive positioning of women within mosques as visual politics of mosques, (2) the discursive (self-)positioning practice of young female-members of these mosques as (potential) image activism, and (3) the performative interplay of visual politics – i.e. an institutionalized gaze (Foucault, 1978) – and the self-representations and discursive self-positionings of young Muslim women and the image activism showing here.
It employs a Foucauldian discourse-analytical approach to the analysis of interplays to focus on the power-knowledge which mosques bring forth. In those interplays between institutional visual politics and individual or collective image activism, we aim at analyzing the dispositives of visibility between representational, disciplinary, normalizing, or transformational imagination (Wieners & Weber, 2021, forthcoming).
Ahmed, L. (1992). Women and gender in Islam: Historical roots of a modern debate. Yale University Press. Bendixsen, S. K. N. (2013). The religious identity of young Muslim women in Berlin: An ethnographic study. Brill. Foucault, M. (1973). The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language. Pantheon Books. Foucault, M. (1978). The History of Sexuality. Vintage Books. Holert, T. (2008). Regieren im Bildraum. PoLYpeN. b_books. Jonker, G. (1999). Religiosität und Partizipation der zweiten Generation – Frauen in Berliner Moscheen. In R. Klein-Hessling, K. Werner, & S. Nökel (Eds.), Globaler lokaler Islam. Der neue Islam der Frauen: Weibliche Lebenspraxis in der globalisierten Moderne. Fallstudien aus Afrika, Asien und Europa (pp. 106–123). transcript Verlag. Nökel, S. (2002). Die Töchter der Gastarbeiter und der Islam. Transcript Verlag. Pries, L., & Sezgin, Z. (2010). Migrantenorganisationen als Grenzüberschreiter - ein (wieder)erstarkendes Forschungsfeld. In L. Pries & Z. Sezgin (Eds.), Jenseits von „Identität oder Integration“: Grenzen überspannende Migrantenorganisationen (1st ed., 7-13). VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Rosenow-Williams, K. (2012). Organizing Muslims and integrating Islam in Germany: New developments in the 21st century. Brill. Schankweiler, K. (2019). Bildproteste: Widerstand im Netz. Digitale Bildkulturen. Klaus Wagenbach. Schiffauer, W. (2015). Akteure Islamische Gemeinden: Identitäten und Ressourcen. In W. Schiffauer (Ed.), Schule, Moschee, Elternhaus. Eine ethnologische Intervention (pp. 136–186). Suhrkamp. Spielhaus, R. (2011). Wer ist hier Muslim? Die Entwicklung eines islamischen Bewusstseins in Deutschland zwischen Selbstidentifikation und Fremdzuschreibung. Ergon-Verlag. Stauch, K. K. (2004). Die Entwicklung einer islamischen Kultur in Deutschland: Eine empirische Untersuchung anhand von Frauenfragen. Weißensee-Verlag. Wieners, S., & Weber, S. M. (2021, forthcoming). Im Blickfeld der Kamera: Visuelle Geschlechterordnungen in Organisationen diskursanalytisch untersuchen. In C. Thon, S. Fegter, & A. Langer (Eds.), Jahrbuch erziehungswissenschaftliche Geschlechterforschung. Verlag Barbara Budrich.
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