Loughborough University
QMR-RR- Cosplay final accepted version.pdf (510 kB)

“They said we ruined the character and our religion”: authenticity and legitimation of hijab cosplay

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-27, 09:44 authored by Hounaida El Jurdi, Mona Moufahim, Ofer Dekel DachsOfer Dekel Dachs

Purpose: This research is positioned at the intersection of youth subculture consumption and religious affiliation, through the study of observant Muslim women involved in the highly engaging and codified activity of cosplay. Given authenticity is central to the cosplay visual impact and performance, this study aims to understand the way hijab cosplayers negotiate tensions between authentic body performativity and the observance of religious dressing codes. 

Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative interpretive approach was used to address the research questions. In-depth semi-structured online interviews were conducted with 25 members of a hijab cosplayers from South East Asia. 

Findings: The concept of authenticity emerged as multifaceted for hijab cosplayers, where they manage three different aspect of the authentic cosplay performance as follows: authenticity as a cosplayer (social dimension of authenticity), authenticity to the character (personal dimension of authenticity) and authenticity to their religious identity (religious dimension of authenticity). The subsequent malleable authenticity is used to legitimate cosplay as an acceptable performative practice from a religious and from subcultural view.

Originality/value: The research highlights how tensions between identity and performativity of the body are negotiated. More specifically, the study contributes to the understanding of the way hijab cosplayers reconcile tensions between religious identity and the performativity of the body. Given the role of the body as a site for negotiating identity, this study provides important insights in the tensions and strategies at the intersection of authenticity, embodiment and religious identity in youth cultures.



  • Loughborough Business School

Published in

Qualitative Market Research






43 - 59




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Emerald Publishing Limited

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Qualitative Market Research and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/qmr-01-2021-0014. This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please visit Marketplace: https://marketplace.copyright.com/rs-ui-web/mp

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Dr Ofer Dekel Dachs. Deposit date: 11 September 2023

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