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Ethno-religious socialisation, national culture and the social construction of British Muslim identity

Timol, Riyaz ORCID: 2020. Ethno-religious socialisation, national culture and the social construction of British Muslim identity. Contemporary Islam 10.1007/s11562-020-00454-7

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This paper interfaces a specific theory of socialisation, derived from Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann’s influential book The Social Construction of Reality, with the empirical story of Muslim settlement in Britain. It makes a key distinction between the primary socialisation experiences of immigrants, which unfolded in their countries of origin, and that of their diaspora-born offspring whose identity is forged between an inherited ethno-religious culture and the wider British collective conscience. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork conducted with the Islamic revivalist movement Tablighi Jama’at, the paper explores the cultural embodiments of religion as it evolves over generations through an examination of identity markers such as language, dress and food. The analysis triangulates Berger and Luckmann’s concepts of primary and secondary socialisation with a tripartite model of British Muslim identity developed by Ron Geaves. It further argues, in light of Kwame Gyekye’s theory of nation-building, that recent government efforts to promulgate a set of fundamental British values in schools represent an essentially Durkheimian attempt to supply the ‘social glue’ that binds citizens together. While the article acknowledges the increasing salience of religion for many British-born Muslims, it argues for the ongoing influence of ethnicity and nationality in determining their lived experience.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, whichpermits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you giveappropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, andindicate if changes were made
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1872-0218
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 23 September 2020
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 23:16

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