Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design


Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design

First Advisor

Karl Aspelund


As visual representatives of Islam, diasporic Muslim women in the U.S. and U.K. are at the forefront of changing the perception of Islam and the rise of modest fashion. The aim of this study is to analyze how female Muslim social media influencers living in non-Muslim majority areas use fashionable apparel on social media to negotiate cultural and religious demands in conjunction with exploration of personal identities. Social media posts from Instagram were coded using grounded theory. The findings were analyzed using Netnographic methods and Social Representation Theory (SRT) as the main theoretical framework. This study found that Muslim social media influencers are changing both the meaning and styling of the hijab to suite their personal needs and exemplify their identities. The identities of these influencers were found to be multifaceted and unique, but used dress to balance between cultures and religious expectations. The hijab was found to be less of a symbol of religious devotion, and more of a symbol of cultural heritage in a culturally diverse area whose narratives of Islam are in discussion.



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