The myth of choice in Maryam Lee’s unveiling choice

Natrah Noor, and Bahiyah Abdul Hamid, and Normalis Amzah, (2022) The myth of choice in Maryam Lee’s unveiling choice. GEMA: Online Journal of Language Studies, 22 (4). pp. 59-75. ISSN 1675-8021


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Malaysia has witnessed Islamic revivalism since the 1980s and its Islamisation is exemplified in the normalisation of hijab. Although the adoption of hijab is often cited as a choice in Malaysia, Maryam Lee’s controversial book Unveiling Choice presents an alternative portrait of choice in a society where hijab is a predominant practice. Using Wodak’s (Reisigl & Wodak, 2005, 2017; Wodak, 2001, 2018) Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) to Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), this paper explores the argumentation strategies used against women, particularly Maryam in challenging and delegitimising her de-hijabbing decision. The findings revealed how hijab is not only indoctrinated from childhood but the choice of removing it is delegitimised using linguistic means of topoi; more specifically topos of authority, threat and consequence. This paper concludes by highlighting the implication of these topoi to women’s agency pertaining to hijab in a society where the pressure to wear it is indoctrinated and forceful, resulting in hijab becoming a tool of hegemonic gendered practice that works toward sustaining the patriarchal status quo in Malaysia.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:De-hijabbing; Choice; Discourse historical approach; Argumentation; Topoi
Journal:GEMA ; Online Journal of Language Studies
ID Code:20932
Deposited By: Noor Marina Yusof
Deposited On:12 Jan 2023 08:05
Last Modified:16 Jan 2023 06:49

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