The Effects of Headscarf Bans - Muslim Women in the German Labour Market
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This bachelor thesis combines economic and political insights to determine what the effects of headscarf bans on Muslim women in the German labour market are. Previous literature has neglected this focus on effects, focusing instead on normative and philosophical debates. Politicians and employers, therefore, lack crucial information when making decisions about headscarf bans. To attempt and fill part of this gap this research integrates several theories to understand underlying mechanisms: Esser’s integration model, Pitkin's concept of representation, Becker’s taste-based discrimination and Allport’s contact hypotheses. This research builds on information collected from government outlets, existing academic literature and expert interviews. The analysis begins by establishing the legal framework in which headscarf bans are created and implemented in Germany. Relevant actors and their power are then analysed and a lack of representation of Muslim women is found. The final part of the analysis builds on this information and explores the mechanisms leading to different types of effects. The findings are that headscarf bans ultimately lead to a worse financial situation for Muslim women and a hindrance to their integration into the overall German society. These effects are a cumulation of several intermediate effects including overall lower employment of Muslim women, in particular in visible and high-status positions, an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments and discrimination in other areas of life.