Document Type



Cultural History | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | French and Francophone Language and Literature | Islamic World and Near East History | Jewish Studies | Reading and Language | Social History | Women's History


Based on rarely viewed images from the fin de siècle, this article will contribute to the burgeoning field of Jewish women in the world of Islam. At the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) School for Girls in the city of Tunis, 1882–1914, after a seven-year course of study, Jewish and non-Jewish girls acquired certification of their academic or vocational skills through a certificate or diploma of couture. Such credentials, according to Bourdieu (1986), constitute “cultural capital.” Furthermore, “cultural capital … is convertible … into economic capital and may be institutionalized in the forms of educational qualifications.” A young woman could create cultural capital and transform it into economic capital through employment. Reading the sources, the influence of the Tunisian Muslim woman on the Jewess becomes apparent. Moreover, cultural capital could afford the Jewish female wage earner increased economic independence and social mobility, as she journeyed on the road to modernity.