Syed, Jawad, Ali, Faiza and Winstanley, Diana (2005) In pursuit of modesty: contextual emotional labour and the dilemma for working women in Islamic societies. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 1 (2). pp. 150-167. ISSN 1740-8938

The paper explores the experience of working women in Islamic societies from the perspective of the concept of modesty. While female modesty occurs as a value in many cultures, it is a particularly explicit and strong feature of Islamic doctrine. The paper describes the doctrinal underpinnings of this concept to suggest the probable ways in which this frames the experience of working women. The contrast between the emotional requirements of 'modesty' and the emotional demands of modern international organisations, suggests two sets of competing claims in the successful performance of a work role. This can lead to emotional tensions for working women, which demand further emotional work upon the self by the subject. In exploring the literature on emotional labour, we believe that the concept has ignored strong contextual dimensions particularly religion-based social norms.

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