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Engaging Modernity

Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency in Postcolonial Niger

Alidou, Ousseina

(Book - 2005)
Engaging Modernity
Print
Chicago Distribution Center

Engaging Modernity is Ousseina Alidou’s rich and compelling portrait of Muslim women in Niger as they confront the challenges and opportunities of the twentieth century. Contrary to Western stereotypes of passive subordination, these women are taking control of their own lives and resisting domination from indigenous traditions, westernization, and Islam alike.
Based on thorough scholarly research and extensive fieldwork—including a wealth of interviews—Alidou’s work offers insights into the meaning of modernity for Muslim women in Niger. Mixing biography with sociological data, social theory and linguistic analysis, this is a multilayered vision of political Islam, education, popular culture, and war and its aftermath. A gripping look at one of the Muslim world’s most powerful untold stories.

Runner-up for the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association


Engaging Modernity is Ousseina Alidou’s rich and compelling portrait of Muslim women in Niger as they confront the challenges and opportunities of the twentieth century. Contrary to Western stereotypes of passive subordination, these women are taking control of their own lives and resisting domination from indigenous traditions, westernization, and Islam alike.
Based on thorough scholarly research and extensive fieldwork—including a wealth of interviews—Alidou’s work offers insights into the meaning of modernity for Muslim women in Niger. Mixing biography with sociological data, social theory and linguistic analysis, this is a multilayered vision of political Islam, education, popular culture, and war and its aftermath. A gripping look at one of the Muslim world’s most powerful untold stories.

Runner-up for the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association



Book News
Alidou (Africana studies and comparative literature, Rutgers U.) combines ethnographic study of individual Nigerien women's biographies with broader sociopolitical analysis in her investigation of the shaping of women's agency as it relates to political Islam, education, popular culture, and war and its aftermath in the transitional period beginning in the early 1990s. She examines the influence of religion, ethnicity, class, schooling, and citizenship as vectors of agency, ultimately arguing that Muslim women of Niger are forging hybrid identities that allow them to exist in a multiplicity of cultural locations and employ a wide range of strategies of self-affirmation or self-effacement in furtherance of personal, familial, professional, and political goals. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Series that include this title

Publisher: Madison ; London : University of Wisconsin Press, c2005
ISBN: 0299212106
Characteristics: xxi, 235 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

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