This article examines the practice and meanings of the new veiling and of Islamization more generally for young Muslim Javanese women in the new middle class. Drawing on eight months of ethnographic research in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta in 1999 and three subsequent one-month visits during 2001, 2002, and 2003, I explore the social and religious attitudes of female students at two of Yogyakarta's leading centers of higher education: Gadjah Mada University, a nondenominational state university, and the nearby Sunan Kalijaga National Islamic University. The ethnographic and life-historical materials discussed here underscore that the new veiling is neither a traditionalist survival nor an antimodernist reaction but rather a complex and sometimes ambiguous effort by young Muslim women to reconcile the opportunities for autonomy and choice offered by modern education with a heightened commitment to the profession of Islam.

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