Author: John O'Brien
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2017-09-05
Genre: Social Science
A compelling portrait of a group of boys as they navigate the complexities of being both American teenagers and good Muslims This book provides a uniquely personal look at the social worlds of a group of young male friends as they navigate the complexities of growing up Muslim in America. Drawing on three and a half years of intensive fieldwork in and around a large urban mosque, John O’Brien offers a compelling portrait of typical Muslim American teenage boys concerned with typical teenage issues—girlfriends, school, parents, being cool—yet who are also expected to be good, practicing Muslims who don’t date before marriage, who avoid vulgar popular culture, and who never miss their prayers. Many Americans unfamiliar with Islam or Muslims see young men like these as potential ISIS recruits. But neither militant Islamism nor Islamophobia is the main concern of these boys, who are focused instead on juggling the competing cultural demands that frame their everyday lives. O’Brien illuminates how they work together to manage their “culturally contested lives” through subtle and innovative strategies—such as listening to profane hip-hop music in acceptably “Islamic” ways, professing individualism to cast their participation in communal religious obligations as more acceptably American, dating young Muslim women in ambiguous ways that intentionally complicate adjudications of Islamic permissibility, and presenting a “low-key Islam” in public in order to project a Muslim identity without drawing unwanted attention. Closely following these boys as they move through their teen years together, Keeping It Halal sheds light on their strategic efforts to manage their day-to-day cultural dilemmas as they devise novel and dynamic modes of Muslim American identity in a new and changing America.
Author: Robert Brenneman
Publisher: OUP USA
Release Date: 2011-11-23
Using the tools of sociological theory, Robert Brenneman seeks to discover why a pot-smoking, gun-wielding "homie" gang member would want to trade in la vida loca for a Bible and the buttoned-down lifestyle of an evangelical hermano (brother in Christ) - and to what extent this strategy works for the many youth who have tried it.
From the origins of Muhammad's prophetic movement through the development of Islam's principal branches to the establishment of the Umayyad dynasty, the concept of authority has been central to Islamic civilization. By examining the nature, organization, and transformation of authority over time, Dabashi conveys both continuities and disruptions inherent in the development of a new political culture. It is this process, he argues, that accounts for the fundamental patterns of authority in Islam that ultimately shaped, in dialectical interaction with external historical factors, the course of Islamic civilization. The book begins by examining the principal characteristics of authority in pre-Islamic Arab society. Dabashi describes the imposition of the Muhammadan charismatic movement on pre-Islamic Arab culture, tracing the changes it introduced in the fabric of pre-Islamic Arabia. He examines the continuities and changes that followed, focusing on the concept of authority, and the formation of the Sunnite, Shiite, and Karajite branches of Islam as political expressions of deep cultural cleavages. For Dabashi, the formation of these branches was the inevitable outcome of the clash between pre-Islamic patterns of authority and those of the Muhammadan charismatic movement. In turn, they molded both the unity and the diversity of the emerging Islamic culture. Authority in Islam explains how this came to be. Dabashi employs Weber's concept of charismatic authority in describing Muhammad and his mode of authority as both a model and a point of departure. His purpose is not to offer critical verification or opposition to interpretation of historical events, but to suggest a new approach to the existing literature. The book is an important contribution to political sociology as well as the study of Islamic culture and civilization. Sociologists, political scientists, and Middle Eastern specialists will find this analysis of particular value.
Author: MR Philip A Mellor
Release Date: 1997-02-14
Enriches the concpetual arsenal for interdisciplinary analysis of political, social and cultural change... stimulates more nuanced thinking about the cultural and political legacy of the Reformation era... manages both to clarify tensions surrounding cultural and social integration in the late 20th century while underscoring the real historical complexity of modern bodies' - "American Journal of Sociology " Through an analysis of successive re-formations of the body, this innovative and penetrating book constructs a fascinating and wide-ranging account of how the creation and evolution of different patterns of human community are intimately related to the somatic experience of the sacred. The book places the relationship between the embodiment and the sacred at the crux of social theory, and casts a fresh light on the emergence and transformation of modernity. It critically examines the thesis that the rational projects of modern embodiment have 'died and gone to cyberspace', and suggests that we are witnessing the rise of a virulent, effervescent form of the sacred which is changing how people 'see' and 'keep in touch' with the world around them.
Author: Aaron W. Hughes
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2013-04-09
Rather than focus solely on theological concerns, this well-rounded introduction takes an expansive view of Islamic ideology, culture, and tradition, sourcing a range of historical, sociological, and literary perspectives. Neither overly critical nor apologetic, this book reflects the rich diversity of Muslim identities across the centuries and counters the unflattering, superficial portrayals of Islam that are shaping public discourse today. Aaron W. Hughes uniquely traces the development of Islam in relation to historical, intellectual, and cultural influences, enriching his narrative with the findings, debates, and methodologies of related disciplines, such as archaeology, history, and Near Eastern studies. Hughes's work challenges the dominance of traditional terms and concepts in religious studies, recasting religion as a set of social and cultural facts imagined, manipulated, and contested by various actors and groups over time. Making extensive use of contemporary identity theory, Hughes rethinks the teaching of Islam and religions in general and helps facilitate a more critical approach to Muslim sources. For readers seeking a non-theological, unbiased, and richly human portrait of Islam, as well as a strong grasp of Islamic study's major issues and debates, this textbook is a productive, progressive alternative to more classic surveys.
Author: Scott Alan Kugle
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2013-12-06
2015 Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award presented by the Stonewall Books Awards of the American Library Association Muhsin is one of the organizers of Al-Fitra Foundation, a South African support group for lesbian, transgender, and gay Muslims. Islam and homosexuality are seen by many as deeply incompatible. This, according to Muhsin, is why he had to act. “I realized that I’m not alone—these people are going through the very same things that I’m going through. But I’ve managed, because of my in-depth relationship with God, to reconcile the two. I was completely comfortable saying to the world that I’m gay and I’m Muslim. I wanted to help other people to get there. So that’s how I became an activist.” Living Out Islam documents the rarely-heard voices of Muslims who live in secular democratic countries and who are gay, lesbian, and transgender. It weaves original interviews with Muslim activists into a compelling composite picture which showcases the importance of the solidarity of support groups in the effort to change social relationships and achieve justice. This nascent movement is not about being “out” as opposed to being “in the closet.” Rather, as the voices of these activists demonstrate, it is about finding ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith and reclaiming Islam as their own.
Author: Nilda Flores-González
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2017-10-03
Genre: Social Science
An exploration of how race shapes Latino millennials’ notions of national belonging Latino millennials constitute the second largest segment of the millennial population. By sheer numbers they will inevitably have a significant social, economic, and political impact on U.S. society. Beyond basic demographics, however, not much is known about how they make sense of themselves as Americans. In Citizens but Not Americans,Nilda Flores-González examines how Latino millennials understand race, experience race, and develop notions of belonging. Based on nearly one hundred interviews, Flores-González argues that though these young Latina/os are U.S. citizens by birth, they do not feel they are part of the “American project,” and are forever at the margins looking in. The book provides an inside look at how characteristics such as ancestry, skin color, social class, gender, language and culture converge and shape these youths’ feelings of belonging as they navigate everyday racialization. The voices of Latino millennials reveal their understanding of racialization along three dimensions—as an ethno-race, as a racial middle and as ‘real’ Americans. Using familiar tropes, these youths contest the othering that negates their Americanness while constructing notions of belonging that allow them to locate themselves as authentic members of the American national community. Challenging current thinking about race and national belonging, Citizens but Not Americans significantly contributes to our understanding of the Latino millennial generation and makes a powerful argument about the nature of race and belonging in the U.S.
Policy-makers and the public are increasingly attentive to the role of shari'a in the everyday lives of Western Muslims, with negative associations and public fears growing among their non-Muslim neighbors in the United States and Canada. The most common way North American Muslims relate to shari'a is in their observance of Muslim marriage and divorce rituals; recourse to traditional Islamic marriage and, to a lesser extent, divorce is widespread. Julie Macfarlane has conducted hundreds of interviews with Muslim couples, as well as with religious and community leaders and family conflict professionals. Her book describes how Muslim marriage and divorce processes are used in North America, and what they mean to those who embrace them as a part of their religious and cultural identity. The picture that emerges is of an idiosyncratic private ordering system that reflects a wide range of attitudes towards contemporary family values and changes in gender roles. Some women describe pervasive assumptions about restrictions on their role in the family system, as well as pressure to accept these values and to stay married. Others of both genders describe the gradual modernization of Islamic family traditions - and the subsequent emergence of a Western shari'a--but a continuing commitment to the rituals of Muslim marriage and divorce in their private lives. Readers will be challenged to consider how the secular state should respond in order to find a balance between state commitment to universal norms and formal equality, and the protection of religious freedom expressed in private religious and cultural practices.
Author: Andrew Singleton
Release Date: 2014-03-01
Genre: Social Science
"The reader is taken on a global exploration of the forms and diversities of religions and their social and cultural contexts... It is up to the minute in research and theory, and comfortably grounded in the traditions of the social explanation of things religious and spiritual." - Gary Bouma AM, Monash University "Tells how sociology of religion originated in the work of key nineteenth and twentieth century theorists and then brings the story into the present era of globalization, hybrid spirituality, and the Internet. Students of religion will find this an engaging and informative survey of the field." - Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University "It considers the 'big questions' - What is religion? How is religion changing in a modern world? What is the future of religion? - and addresses them through tangible case studies and observations of contemporary life. Its global perspective reflects the breadth, diversity and vibrancy of this field." - Sylvia Collins-Mayo, Kingston University This is a rich and dynamic introduction to the varieties of religious life and the central issues in the sociology of religion today. It leads the reader through the key ideas and main debates within the field as well as offering in-depth descriptions and analysis of topics such as secularization, fundamentalism, Pentecostal Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, atheism, 'The spiritual marketplace', digital religion and new religions like Wicca. Emphasising religion as a global phenomenon, examining especially the ways in which globalization has had an impact on everyday religious life, Singleton has created an illuminating text suitable for students in a wide range of courses looking at religion as a social and cultural phenomenon.
Author: Albert J. Raboteau
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2016-09-12
American Prophets sheds critical new light on the lives and thought of seven major prophetic figures in twentieth-century America whose social activism was motivated by a deeply felt compassion for those suffering injustice. In this compelling and provocative book, acclaimed religious scholar Albert Raboteau tells the remarkable stories of Abraham Joshua Heschel, A. J. Muste, Dorothy Day, Howard Thurman, Thomas Merton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fannie Lou Hamer—inspired individuals who succeeded in conveying their vision to the broader public through writing, speaking, demonstrating, and organizing. Raboteau traces how their paths crossed and their lives intertwined, creating a network of committed activists who significantly changed the attitudes of several generations of Americans about contentious political issues such as war, racism, and poverty. Raboteau examines the influences that shaped their ideas and the surprising connections that linked them together. He discusses their theological and ethical positions, and describes the rhetorical and strategic methods these exemplars of modern prophecy used to persuade their fellow citizens to share their commitment to social change. A momentous scholarly achievement as well as a moving testimony to the human spirit, American Prophets represents a major contribution to the history of religion in American politics. This book is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about social justice, or who wants to know what prophetic thought and action can mean in today's world.
Author: Nilüfer Göle
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2015-09-30
Genre: Political Science
In Islam and Secularity Nilüfer Göle takes on two pressing issues: the transforming relationship between Islam and Western secular modernity and the impact of the Muslim presence in Europe. Göle shows how the visibility of Islamic practice in the European public sphere unsettles narratives of Western secularism. As mutually constitutive, Islam and secularism permeate each other, the effects of which play out in embodied and aesthetic practices and are accompanied by fear, anxiety, and violence. In this timely book, Göle illuminates the recent rethinking of secularism and religion, of modernity and resistance to it, of the public significance of sexuality, and of the shifting terrain of identity in contemporary Europe.
Nancy Tatom Ammerman examines the stories Americans tell of their everyday lives, from dinner table to office and shopping mall to doctor's office, about the things that matter most to them and the routines they take for granted, and the times and places where the everyday and ordinary meet the spiritual. In addition to interviews and observation, Ammerman bases her findings on a photo elicitation exercise and oral diaries, offering a window into the presence and absence of religion and spirituality in ordinary lives and in ordinary physical and social spaces. The stories come from a diverse array of ninety-five Americans — both conservative and liberal Protestants, African American Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Wiccans, and people who claim no religious or spiritual proclivities — across a range that stretches from committed religious believers to the spiritually neutral. Ammerman surveys how these people talk about what spirituality is, how they seek and find experiences they deem spiritual, and whether and how religious traditions and institutions are part of their spiritual lives.