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Postfeminist paradoxes and cultural difference: unpacking media representations of American Muslim sportswomen Ibtihaj and Dalilah Muhammad

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posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Sumaya F Samie, Kim ToffolettiKim Toffoletti
This qualitative analysis of mediated discourses produced in and by US media throughout August 2016 unpacks how postfeminist sentiments were used to frame two Muslim sportswomen who represented Team USA during the 2016 Rio Olympics: Ibtihaj and Dalilah Muhammad Findings suggest that whilst both women were positively framed in and through a range of ‘individual willpower’ and ‘empowerment’ discourses, media articulations of their individualised femininity and feminist politics also consolidated a range of established myths about the Muslim female subject, and the superiority of westernised forms of femininity. Hence, while Ibtihaj was sensationalised as a ‘hijab-wearing’ heroine, and Dalilah was depicted as an uncovered, self-assured, (athletic) ‘queen’, within these media articulations, Ibtihaj’s veiled success further corroborated notions of American neoliberal superiority, and Dalilah’s uncovered success was an emblematic celebration of the superior forms of western freedoms awaiting those who transcend religious and cultural affiliations.

History

Title of book

New sporting femininities : embodied politics in postfeminist times

Series

New femininities in digital physical and sporting cultures

Chapter number

5

Pagination

87 - 110

Publisher

Springer

Place of publication

Cham, Switzerland

ISSN

2522-0330

eISSN

2522-0349

ISBN-13

9783319724812

ISBN-10

3319724819

Language

eng

Notes

The original version of the book was revised: The book editor order has been updated. The Erratum to the book is available at https://doi. org/10.1007/978-3-319-72481-2_15

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2018, The Author(s)

Extent

14

Editor/Contributor(s)

K Toffoletti, Holly Thorpe, Jessica Francombe-Webb

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