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Title: Muslims in Europe : the public engagement of young German Muslims
Author: Soliman, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 4359
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This study examines qualitatively several case studies of young Muslims in Germany who strongly identify with Islam and Germany and who are publicly active. It analyses the ways in which the research participants use the public sphere in the context of German Muslim identity. It focuses on three main fields within the public sphere, namely media, the arts and culture, and civil society. Various forms of engagement as well as different contents are investigated. Two theoretical frameworks are used. The first one deals with identity, looking at theories of minority identity, hybrid identity, multiculturalism and secularism. Secondly, the concept of the public sphere is tackled, considering the Habermasian public sphere as well as Habermas’s critics and their emphasis on counterpublics and the public sphere’s cultural- performative nature. The study takes into account the German context, particularly public attitudes towards Islam and their influence on German Muslims’ public expressions. It finds that the examples of young individuals identifying as German Muslims, who are involved in public activities, display different forms of publics. While some German Muslims are strongly engaged in counterpublics, others illustrate only some or no elements of ‘countering’. To understand public engagement that goes beyond counterpublics the study uses Henry Jenkins’s theory of participatory culture, which proves to be more helpful. In spite of the fact that all case studies identify as German Muslims and attach great relevance to their identities as well as to public discourses concerning Muslims in Germany, they refer differently to their German Muslim identity in their public involvement. The more individuals are involved in counterpublics, the stronger references are made to German Muslim identity and associated discourses about identity recognition and multiculturalism. The less their publics represent typical counterpublic features, the weaker the relevance of German Muslim identity is. As regards Islamic content and challenges to secularism, they can play an equally important role in the different forms of publics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available