The Formation of Religious Identity and Practice among American Muslim College Students
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The Muslim identity in Western media and politics is often represented in opposition to the secular and rational West. Utilizing ethnographic work and interviews among local American Muslim college students and Dorinne Kondo’s assertion that the self is an ongoing process in dialogue with cultural arenas, I argue that Muslims are far from isolated in their construction of religious practice and identity. Muslim religious practice and identity is formed in relation to dominant representations in the public sphere and through complex navigations through secular spaces. This thesis explores the formation of Muslims college student identity and practice through their participation in student organizations, individualist engagements with religious knowledge, creative expressions meant to assert a more authentic American Muslim identity and the boundaries they draw within their communities including degrees of religiosity, ethnicity and nationality.