Main Article Content
The present research studies the hijab in Iranian schools by considering the overall framework of public/private spheres and democracy/religion. Iran is one of the considerable cases in which the relation between public and private spheres or between democracy and religion has been under reconsideration. Religion and religious beliefs play an important role in social communications, which includes educational institutions as well. The general goal of this study is to investigate the social role of religion in Iran with emphasis on school, as a social institution and its particular aim is to study girls’ wearing of the hijab in Iranian high schools. The hijab is considered as a dependent variable and two kinds of public and private schools are considered as independent variables. The sample consists of 160 sixteen and seventeen year old high school girls in the second and third year of high school in the 2005-2006 academic years. In order to collect the data a questionnaire was prepared and used by the researcher. The statistical methods such as frequency, mean, standard deviation and χ2 are used for analysis of the results. Comparison of the results obtained from public and private schools shows a significant difference. The private school students are freer in restrictions related to the hijab. In other words, they show more tendencies for incomplete sorts of the hijab or rejection of its complete form. But the results from both types of schools show that most of the students are disagreed with involvement of official laws in making the hijab obligatory. While most of them are against forced hijab, however, they support certain limitations (rather than unconditional freedom) in coverage. In total, while most of the students have tendencies towards wearing the hijab, both believers and non-believers of the hijab reject imposition or prohibition of the wearing of the hijab and consider it as a personal choice. In summary, it can be concluded that the hijab is neither seen as a phenomenon in the public sphere and in accordance with law, nor it is seen as a phenomenon related to the private sphere. In other words, the study of the phenomenon of the hijab in Iran shows that the boundary of public and private spheres is not decisive and clear in this case.