THE PERCEPTION OF DANCE AMONG YOUNG MUSLIM FEMALES
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Dance has a hostile and ambiguous relationship with Islam, it is a controversial physical practice whilst as the same time being an acceptable form of cultural expression (Shay, 2008). It is perceived as being ḥarām (prohibited), believed to promote anti-Islamic behaviour, and is a physical activity that is especially problematic for Muslim women (Al-Qaradawi, 2001). This study attempts to understand the socio-cultural, and religious significance of dance in Islam through investigating the perception of dance among young Muslim females and draws upon a number of theoretical perspectives to achieve this: black/ Islamic feminism, critical race theory (CRT), hijab discourse, embodied sociology, and socio-cultural theory in dance. A single case study was carried out in an inner-city multi-ethnic secondary school in South Wales and involved 11 young Muslim females aged between 13 and 16 years old. This research was conducted in two stages, in stage one the data was acquired using focus group discussion, and in stage two the research findings were disseminated to the young girls who took part in the study in an informal presentation-style meeting. This reseach highlights two key themes, that dance conflicts with the cultural expectations of young Muslim females and that their participation in dance is dependent on dance functioning within a cultural and religious context that is sympathetic to modesty.
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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