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Being a "Good Muslim" in Denmark

(Sofie Pedersen, University of Southern Denmark)

This project explores how the prescriptive norms and ideals of the Danish welfare state impact the individual subjectivity construction of young Muslims living in Denmark. As an age group, young Muslims are often treated as a rather isolated category of “youth” – focusing primarily on the “hypervisible Islam” such as Islamic clothing, Islamic organisations and Islamic radicalisation. Consequently, aspects of their identity other than their “Muslimness” are likely to be neglected. However, the construction of Muslim subjectivities does not rely on religion alone. In an attempt to change this perspective, this project will investigate the subjectivity formation of young Muslim (students) in Denmark with a focus on the interlacement of individual strategies with templates of being a “good citizen” given by the context of the Danish welfare state.

The project investigates prescriptive forms of being a “good Danish Muslim” by the state and how this state-induced image is influencing the Muslim minority youth. In this way, the study puts is focus on the disciplinary governmentality of the Danish welfare state in Muslim subjectivity formation. In analyzing social practices and patterns of self-understanding in the context of Danish state governmentality, the project will explore young Muslims’ norms and ideals, with their dilemmas, anxieties and aspirations concerning fields of subjectivity formation such as education, work, civic engagement, and family life.

Last Updated 16.08.2016