The Islamic veil has become a central issue in mass communication and policy administration. Unfortunately, its representations are strongly stereotyped and often seem to reflect a willingness to invest this cultural headdress with a negative sense, marking it as the symbol of the savagery, violence and backwardness of Islam. This signifies the loss of the variety originally linked to the so- called hijab, whose nature is deeply characterized by polysemy, diversity and indeterminateness depending on the peculiar context it is related to. This essays tries to go „under‟ the veil of such stereotyped images and to explore the mechanisms through which mass media – and in particular women‟s magazines – create and support certain representations of the hijab. Which are the main isotopies of the veil we can find? Are they the result of the combination of figurative and plastic signifiers used in accordance with fixed and specific rules or rather associations set from time to time depending on each particular enunciative context? Are there any models that seem to be more used than others? Why? And what happens to the veil when it comes into contact with Western society and lifestyle (especially with the fashion system)? By answering these questions as well as others I have tried to show how the representations of Muslim women and the veils they wear seem to take shape, suggesting certain interpretations of the relationship between the East and West, on one side, and the values of oppression and emancipation of women, on the other. Could not it be that our minds too are often covered by a "veil": an invisible but very heavy burqa under which it is often demanded we see the world surrounding us?

Sotto il velo dei media. Semiotica dell’hijab tra Oriente e Occidente

STANO, Simona
2012

Abstract

The Islamic veil has become a central issue in mass communication and policy administration. Unfortunately, its representations are strongly stereotyped and often seem to reflect a willingness to invest this cultural headdress with a negative sense, marking it as the symbol of the savagery, violence and backwardness of Islam. This signifies the loss of the variety originally linked to the so- called hijab, whose nature is deeply characterized by polysemy, diversity and indeterminateness depending on the peculiar context it is related to. This essays tries to go „under‟ the veil of such stereotyped images and to explore the mechanisms through which mass media – and in particular women‟s magazines – create and support certain representations of the hijab. Which are the main isotopies of the veil we can find? Are they the result of the combination of figurative and plastic signifiers used in accordance with fixed and specific rules or rather associations set from time to time depending on each particular enunciative context? Are there any models that seem to be more used than others? Why? And what happens to the veil when it comes into contact with Western society and lifestyle (especially with the fashion system)? By answering these questions as well as others I have tried to show how the representations of Muslim women and the veils they wear seem to take shape, suggesting certain interpretations of the relationship between the East and West, on one side, and the values of oppression and emancipation of women, on the other. Could not it be that our minds too are often covered by a "veil": an invisible but very heavy burqa under which it is often demanded we see the world surrounding us?
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https://www.cirsde.unito.it/sites/c555/files/allegatiparagrafo/23-05-2016/quaderno_stano.pdf
Islam, veil, mass media, stereotypes, visual semiotics, photojournalism, collective imaginary
STANO, Simona
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1645077
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