e-Duke Books

Everyday Conversions:

Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait

By Attiya Ahmad

Why are domestic workers converting to Islam in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf region? In Everyday Conversions Attiya Ahmad presents us with an original analysis of this phenomenon. Using extensive fieldwork conducted among South Asian migrant women in Kuwait, Ahmad argues domestic workers’ Muslim belonging emerges from their work in Kuwaiti households as they develop Islamic piety in relation—but not opposition—to their existing religious practices, family ties, and ethnic and national belonging. Their conversion is less a clean break from their preexisting lives than it is a refashioning in response to their everyday experiences. In examining the connections between migration, labor, gender, and Islam, Ahmad complicates conventional understandings of the dynamics of religious conversion and the feminization of transnational labor migration while proposing the concept of everyday conversion as a way to think more broadly about emergent forms of subjectivity, affinity, and belonging.

Series: 
  • Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies

Bibliographic Information

Title: 
Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait
By: 
  • Attiya Ahmad
Published: 
2017-03-03
Copyright year: 
  • 2017
ISBN electronic: 
978-0-8223-7322-3
ISBN cloth: 
978-0-8223-6333-0
ISBN paper: 
978-0-8223-6344-6
Series: 
Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies

Author Bio

  • Attiya Ahmad is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The George Washington University.

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