Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods

Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods

Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods

Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods

Synopsis

'This book provides a unique, powerful, rich, and nuanced understanding of identity development among Muslim-American youth. The publication of Muslim American Youth is a landmark event in developmental science.' - Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science, Tufts University ?Sirin and Fine... render visible the complex lives of a profoundly maligned and misunderstood group - Muslim-American youth. They deploy surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and identity maps to explore how Muslim-American youth are creating and re-creating themselves within these politically and socially charged times.... This is a must read.' - M. Brinton Lykes, Lynch School of Education and Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent ?war on terror,? growing up Muslim in the U. S. has become a far more challenging task for young people. They must contend with popular cultural representations of Muslim-men-as-terrorists and Muslim-women-as-oppressed, the suspicious gaze of peers, teachers, and strangers, and police, and the fierce embodiment of fears in their homes. With great attention to quantitative and qualitative detail, the authors provide heartbreaking and funny stories of discrimination and resistance, delivering hard to ignore statistical evidence of moral exclusion for young people whose lives have been situated on the intimate fault lines of global conflict, and who carry international crises in their backpacks and in their souls. The volume offers a critical conceptual framework to aid in understanding Muslim American identity formation processes, a framework which can also be applied to other groups of marginalized and immigrant youth. In addition, through their innovative data analytic methods that creatively mix youth drawings, intensive individual interviews, focused group discussions, and culturally sensitive survey items, the authors provide an antidote to ?qualitative vs. quantitative? arguments that have unnecessarily captured much time and energy in psychology and other behavioral sciences. Muslim American Youth provides a much-needed roadmap for those seeking to understand how Muslim youth and other groups of immigrant youth negotiate their identities as Americans.

Excerpt

Carola Suárez-Orozco

Today, there are well over a billion Muslims in the world. Many live in the diaspora in the West; an estimated 15 million live in Europe; and another 3 million to 6 million (depending on the source) live in North America, as well as the millions of others in other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations. As a fastgrowing population in a precarious moment in history, there is an urgent need to understand the realities of the diasporic and highly diverse Muslim population.

When Americans think about Muslims after the attacks on September 11, 2001, all too often their associations are negative, blurring the enormous variations in the Muslim community regarding their countries of origin, language, class, phenotype, religious practices, and political views. More than ever before, there are substantial misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and misperceptions about Muslims. Today throughout most of the Western world, Muslims are “designated Others” serving as . . .

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