Title

Finding a jewel: Identity and gendered space in Islamic finance

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2011

Abstract

In this article, I explore how globalization discourses practices work together to form the identities of female Islamic bankers working in the first stand-alone women’s Islamic bank in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. An Islamic bank interacts with the individual by providing a discursive and physical space in which the subject can shape and respond to her desire to identify and engage with the debates in the global Muslim community about morality, practice and the role of Islam in every day life. Global financial systems and local gender practices are embodied in these buildings in a kind of financial purdah: building spaces become both a marketing tool and a support for globally based economic activity under the auspices of morality and tradition. Based upon fieldwork and interviews with Islamic bankers, I will show how normative global financial practices and local moral gender practices work together for the advancement of both.

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