Feeling at home in public: diasporic Moroccan women negotiating leisure in Morocco and the Netherlands

L. Wagner, K.B.M. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Muslim women are often cited as subject to restriction in their mobility through public space, especially in European contexts, in comparison with non-Muslim community members. Yet any woman might face restriction in her access to leisure outside the home through geographies of risk and fear, as well as geographies of care and responsibility. In this article, we describe the ways in which Moroccan Muslim women resident in Europe negotiate access to leisure outside the home, in both Europe and Morocco, demonstrating that they practice mobilities framed by safety, risk and responsibility combined with individual volition to be participants in public spaces. Using examples from interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, we discuss a notion of ‘viscosity’ as safe public space that acts as an extension of the home, where women feel comfortable enacting their daily lives and engaging in leisure practices. By comparing data from the Netherlands and Morocco, we highlight the role of Muslim-dominant and Christian-dominant public spheres in these negotiations of leisure. The ways women inhabit such spaces reflect individual concerns about personal safety, as well as maintaining respectful relations with family and being protected from unknown dangers, in ways that reflect not only religious beliefs but also geographies of risk related to other factors. Inhabiting such spaces implicates how they become part of the community at large, as visibly present participants, by negotiating many factors beyond religious beliefs as part of their access to public leisure spaces
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-430
JournalGender, Place and Culture : a Journal of Feminist Geography
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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