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Sounds Islamic? Muslim music in Britain

Morris, Carl 2013. Sounds Islamic? Muslim music in Britain. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Young Muslims in Britain are increasingly required to navigate an unsettled social, religious and cultural landscape. These complex dynamics encompass a range of factors: from sectarianism and the global marketplace of Islamic knowledge, through to the influence of diverse ethnic communities, the ubiquity of popular culture, and late-modern discourses relating to spirituality and religion. Religious practice, identity formation and social/cultural relationships are therefore a continual process of (re)negotiation, with young Muslims often adopting highly reflexive and pragmatic approaches to this uncertainty. Emerging from this turbulent context is a vibrant Muslim music culture. This thesis provides an ethnographic account of this music culture – through engagement with both musicians and fans – whilst furthermore analysing the deeper significance of Muslim cultural production in contemporary Britain. The observations and arguments throughout are based on extensive fieldwork that took place over a period of approximately two years. A number of methodological strategies were employed: these included interviewing, participant observation and various online research methodologies (including an online survey). While the ethnographic account provided in this thesis is an original and timely contribution to the study of Muslims in Britain, there are broader theoretical implications to emerge. In particular, the original concepts of ‘Islamic Music’ and ‘Islamicallyconscious music’ are developed to better understand how Muslim musicians varyingly emphasise both their individual subjectivity and a more collectivist sense of religious belonging. By examining the development of a distinct British Muslim public sphere, it will therefore be claimed that Muslim musicians are using cultural production as a vehicle to simultaneously contest, negotiate and develop ideas of Muslim practice and collectivity in contemporary Britain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:22

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