Young British Muslims : social space and active identity
Many young Muslims in Britain are becoming more confident about asserting a specifically religious identity. This desire to be `Muslim' is reflected in the social, cultural and educational activities they participate in and other aspects of their behaviour are strongly influenced by the increasing importance of Islam in their lives. The role of the media, especially Muslim media, in the development of Muslim identities is increasingly evident. As this media form develops it provides a rich resource for the construction of British Muslim identities and presents Muslim communities with a platform from which to communicate amongst themselves as well as to wider society. The processes of globalisation have impacted on the development of media and the information available to young Muslims has become more varied in content, which influences how they see themselves not only as British Muslims but as part of a wider global umma. In order to investigate the relationship between media culture and social landscapes in which Muslims find themselves and articulations of their identity, this research examines the lives of young Muslims in two Midlands cities. Whilst examining how they interact with media and how their social lives are structured, the study also explores other concepts which may potentially shape their experiences, including ideas of family, community, gender relations and global events, and locates media within the wider framework of these influencing factors. To contextualise their media consumption, an analysis of Muslim publications is undertaken, offering a political economy of Muslim media in Britain. The aims and objectives of editors are analysed giving an insight into how they see themselves as contributing to a knowledgeable society.