Smart, A and Tinker, C (2012) 'Constructions of collective Muslim identity by advocates of Muslim schools in Britain.' Ethnic and Racial Studies, 35 (4). pp. 643-663. ISSN 0141-9870


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This paper considers how and why collective Muslim identity is expressed and mobilized by advocates of Muslim schools in Britain. This relates to broader questions about the conceptualization, construction and meanings of Muslim identities, and the problem of essentialism that can arise when reporting identity claims that emphasize intra-group unity. Analysis of data from interviews with stakeholders in the debate about Muslim schools in Britain revealed advocates commonly regarded separate schooling as a protective measure against threats to and/or attacks on Muslim identity. It is argued that interviewees invoked collective Muslim identity in ways that drew attention to common knowledge, values and practice, and/or shared life experiences relating to denigrated or discordant social identities. The commonalities expressed by respondents are interpreted as evidence of a convergence of identities and interests in particular social conditions, and are not claimed to be essential characteristics of collective Muslim identity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Muslim schools, collective identity, Muslim, claims-making, multiculturalism, education
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2013 13:15
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 14:11
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