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Farha Bano Ternikar

Dec 24, 2021

Intersectionality in the Muslim South Asian-American Middle Class

Lifestyle Consumption Beyond Halal and Hijab

Lexington Books 2021

In Intersectionality in the Muslim South Asian-American Middle Class: Lifestyle Consumption beyond Halal and Hijab (Lexington Books, 2021), wherein Ternikar theorizes the everyday consumption of South Asian Muslim American women through case studies of their food, clothing, and social media presence. Through feminist, intersectional, and sociology of consumption theories, she provides excellent insights into the nuanced ways that these women negotiate their gendered, classed, racial, and religious identities. Far from being simply a book about the clothing styles, dietary habits and preferences, and social media presence of Muslim American women of South Asian backgrounds, it is an excellent exploration of the ways that this group of American women maintain, form, and re-invent new identities through consumption while maintaining and re-negotiating inherited ethno-religious traditions.

Farha Bano Ternikar is an associate professor of Sociology and director of Gender and Women’s Studies at Le Moyne College. She has an MA in Religious Studies and a PhD in Sociology. Her publications include “Feeding the Muslim South Asian Immigrant Family" in Feminist Food Studies (2019), “Constructing the Halal Kitchen in the American Diaspora” (2020), and “Hijab and the Abrahamic Traditions” in Sociology Compass (2010). Her publications “Ethical consumption and Modest fashion” is forthcoming in Fashion Studies Journal (Spring 2022), and “The Changing Face of Arranged Marriage irl and online in the Muslim Diaspora” in the Politics of Tradition, Resistance and Change (summer 2022).

In our interview today, we discuss the main contributions and findings of her book Intersectionality in the Muslim South Asian-American Middle Class: Lifestyle Consumption beyond Halal and Hijab, her choice to focus on upper-middle class South Asian American women, her respondents’ complex ideas of hijab, modesty, and halal consumption of food, and their presence on and consumption of social media.

Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. She earned her PhD in Islamic Studies with a focus on gender from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her dissertation research explored questions of change and tradition, specifically in the context of gender and sexuality, in Islam. She can be reached at haqqani_s@mercer.edu.

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Shehnaz Haqqani

Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. She earned her PhD in Islamic Studies with a focus on gender from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her dissertation research explored questions of change and tradition, specifically in the context of gender and sexuality, in Islam. She can be reached at haqqani_s@mercer.edu.

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