Project Director

Auchter, Jessica

Department Examiner

Deardorff, Michelle D.; Berghel, Susan Eckelmann


Dept. of Political Science, Public Administration and Nonprofit Management


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This thesis examines how dominant French discursive frames conceptualize Muslim and French-Algerian women's gender performance as related to their level of assimilation into France politically and socially. It examines how these modern discursive derive from colonial sentiments and policies towards Muslim Algerian women. Then, I outlines the specific frames used in discussion of French-Muslim women's bodies and consider the international and national political contexts in which these frames developed. Finally, the thesis presents four interviews that I conducted in June 2018 with French-Algerian women, providing them a space to respond to elite framings of their decisions about how to present themselves as women, how to interact with men, and personal religious decisions.


First and foremost, I thank the four women interviewed in this thesis without whom my research would have been far less complex, insightful, and honest. Thank you each for your time, especially those who traveled to meet with me, and for granting me access to your stories and perspectives. Thank you to all the faculty members at UTC and the Institut Americain Universitaire who contributed to this project. Thank you to Dr. Yumna Masarwa, whose hospitality, support, and connections helped to make this project possible. Thank you to Dr. Victoria Steinberg, whose passion for colonial histories and post-colonial identities inspired my own some years ago. Your ongoing support has made this project possible. Thank you as well to my thesis director, Dr. Jessica Auchter, and my department examiners, Dr. Michelle Deardorff and Dr. Susan Eckelmann Berghel, for your sustained support, input, and patience throughout this project. Special thanks to Dr. Auchter for answering my panicked evening phone calls towards the end of this project. Thank you to the Institut Americain Universitaire in Aix-en-Provence for their hospitality and help throughout this project, including use of their facilities to conduct interviews. Thank you to Dean Leigh Smith for your generosity, to Leila Ait Hmitti for your support and kindness, and to IAU 2018-2019 Fellow Osama Abi-Mershed for your guidance during the development of this project. Thank you to the UTC Honors College for its financial, emotional, and intellectual support throughout this project. Greg, Linda, and Debbie, I owe you so much. Thank you to Dr. Joanne Romagni and UTC's Office of Research for helping sponsor my return to France in June 2019 to conduct interviews. Thank you as well to Georgia Kinsley, my dear friend and second reader. Finally, thank you to my parents, Hilary Hodgkins and Dr. Chris Stuart, for your support and encouragement throughout this project. You make it all possible. Thank you to all the many others unnamed here who contributed to this project in various ways along the way.

IRB Number



B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Muslim women -- Cultural assimilation -- France


France -- Ethnic relations


Colonization; Colonial legacies; Muslim women; Algeria; France


Political Science

Document Type



73 leaves