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Associate Professor Presents Paper to Sociological Society

Vinay BahlA faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society.

Vinay Bahl, associate professor of sociology, presented “Islamic Women’s Attire and Identity Politics” during a session on Gender and Identity.

Her paper puts into context the issues surrounding Islamic women’s attire, including the ban against the veil in Europe. She critiques the prevailing ideas of those who support and those who are against the ban, highlighting the contradictions between traditions in different historical contexts. Bahl maintains that “identity politics,” which focus on localism and particularism instead of the larger context of a particular woman’s situation, is not very useful in changing the conditions that create social hierarchies.

The annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society was held Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Seton Hill University in Greensburg. The society has been serving Pennsylvania sociology faculty, students, researchers and other professionals for 61 years.

Bahl has taught sociology at Penn College since 1996. She holds a doctorate from the State University of New York at Binghamton. In 2002-03, she was a visiting scholar to the College de France, Paris. She was a visiting scholar at Amsterdam’s International Institute of Asian Studies in 2004. She has published three books (one co-edited) and many articles on subjects that include industrialization, the working class, the caste system, the women’s movement, music, South Asian women’s clothes and Third World women.

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