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Reluctant Pluralists: European Muslims and Essentialist Identities

Show simple item record Gest, Justin 2014-11-04T20:21:44Z 2014-11-04T20:21:44Z 2014-07-28
dc.identifier.citation Justin Gest (2014): Reluctant pluralists: European Muslims and essentialist identities, Ethnic and Racial Studies, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.920092 en_US
dc.description The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2014. en_US
dc.description.abstract An emerging consensus amongst scholars of Muslim political and social identity suggests that Western Muslims live out an anti-essentialist critique of identity construction. Considering this view, this paper examines a cross-national comparison of British Bangladeshis in London and Spanish Moroccans in Madrid that solicits the perceptions of working class Muslim men. While the results indeed re-affirm respondents’ concomitant relationships to a variety of identity paradigms, interview content demonstrates that subjects’ multiplicity is complicated by their desire to meet—not reject—the essentialist standards of belonging to the identity paradigms discursively available to them. Rather than defiantly cherry-picking preferred characteristics of religion, ethnicity and nationality, individuals’ responses suggest that they are trying to fulfill perceived standards of authenticity. Such a contention helps explain the prevalence of Western Muslims’ expressed and well-documented “identity crisis,” suggests the enduring relevance of identity essentialisms, and more broadly, complicates post-modern conceptions of identity formation.
dc.description.sponsorship This work was made possible thanks to grants from the Santander Group and the Newby Trust, support from Instituto Juan March and the London School of Economics, and scholarships from the trusts of Baroness Birk and Ralph Miliband. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Routledge en_US
dc.rights Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis en_US
dc.subject Muslims en_US
dc.subject Islam en_US
dc.subject United Kingdom en_US
dc.subject Spain en_US
dc.subject identity en_US
dc.subject nationality en_US
dc.title Reluctant Pluralists: European Muslims and Essentialist Identities en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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