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New Multicultural Identities in Europe

New Multicultural Identities in Europe: Religion and Ethnicity in Secular Societies

Erkan Toğuşlu
Johan Leman
İsmail Mesut Sezgin
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 246
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  • Book Info
    New Multicultural Identities in Europe
    Book Description:

    How to understand Europe’s post-migrant Islam on the one hand and indigenous, anti-Islamic movements on the other? What impact will religion have on the European secular world and its regulation? How do social and economic transitions on a transnational scale challenge ethnic and religious identifications? These questions are at the very heart of the debate on multiculturalism in present-day Europe and are addressed by the authors in this book. Through the lens of post-migrant societies, manifestations of identity appear in pluralized, fragmented, and deterritorialized forms. This new European multiculturalism calls into question the nature of boundaries between various ethnic-religious groups, as well as the demarcation lines within ethnic-religious communities. Although the contributions in this volume focus on Islam, ample attention is also paid to Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. The authors present empirical data from cases in Turkey, Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Poland, Norway, Sweden, and Belgium, and sharpen the perspectives on the religious-ethnic manifestations of identity in the transnational context of 21st-century Europe.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-130-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Introduction

    • CHAPTER 1 The Manifestation of Identities in a Plural Post-Secular Europe
      (pp. 9-32)
      Johan Leman, Erkan Toğuşlu and İsmail Mesut Sezgin

      In 1969 the Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth published his Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. In his words, it is not cultural stuff that creates social borders, but flexible social borders which create culture. He was not the only one, though, to ask for attention to be drawn to the constructive chemistry which takes place in ethnic boundary creation. Leach (1954), prior to the time of Barth, had already emphasized the constructive and flexible character of social boundaries. And also Moerman (1965) had taken a similar approach, finding the earlier approach adopted by Weber (1922) to be insufficient, and instead contending that...

  4. Part I: Post-Migrant Interactions/Identifications

    • CHAPTER 2 New and Old Identity Patterns of Religious Young Muslims in Germany
      (pp. 35-54)
      Cüneyd Dinç

      The purpose of this chapter is to develop a descriptive typology of various identity patterns of young devout post-migrant Muslims in Germany by reviewing the literature about Islam in Germany and evaluating the self-description of various religious groups. It is assumed that, first, the emotional relationship between devout post-migrants and the societies of their (grand) parents and, second, their rejection/acceptance of German society and therefore their readiness/refusal to struggle for the recognition of their religious difference in Germany shape these identity patterns. The diverging characteristics of these two dimensions establish four distinct identity patterns. Two of them — classical associational and...

    • CHAPTER 3 Connecting Home and School: on the Second Generation Muslim Children’s Agency in Belgian Schools
      (pp. 55-72)
      Goedroen Juchtmans

      This chapter focuses on how second generation Muslim children of Turkish descent in Belgium (Flanders) move between their home and school culture and how they deal with competing expectations from both worlds. The chapter is based on qualitative empirical case-study work on three groups of ten-year-old children attending two different Catholic schools. In general, the children as social actors adopt creative strategies to connect the two worlds. However, specific school and home contexts may interfere with children’s agency. The chapter argues that the way adults at school and at home deploy their power status and introduce ethnic/religious symbols of difference...

    • CHAPTER 4 Immigrant Identity, Social Adaptation and Post-Secular Society in Europe
      (pp. 73-94)
      Marcel Mečiar

      This chapter deals with several interconnected topics – the social identity of immigrants, the process of adaptation and changes in identity construction. First, the author briefly introduces some shifts in theorizing identity (with the focus on immigrant identity) that were caused by the narrative turn in social sciences, and presents a discussion on acculturation and the adaptation process. Second, an analysis of adaptation difficulties is further introduced via the reallife stories of immigrants from 8 countries of the European Union. The analysis follows several frameworks of the adaptation difficulties from the immigrant’s subjective point of view: legal and social status; the...

    • CHAPTER 5 Manufacturing Self-Respect: Stigma, Pride and Cultural Juggling among Dalit Youth in Spain
      (pp. 95-118)
      Kathryn Lum

      This chapter, which at first view may be seen as an outlier in this volume, has as its function to broaden our focus on the study of ethnic minority diaspora youth by considering the identity management strategies of a non-Muslim community, the Dalit Indian youth living in Spain. Dalit youth face a dual challenge: how to combat caste stigma and how to negotiate being a racialized ethnic minority in Spain. For former untouchables, intra-ethnic prejudice is just as important as external discrimination. This chapter discusses the importance of music and micro acts of social normalization in defying caste stigma. It...

    • CHAPTER 6 A Case of Euro-Muslimness in Poland? The Polish Tartars case
      (pp. 119-136)
      Katarzyna Warmińska

      The chapter focuses on Polish Tartars, the progeny of the Golden Horde – a small ethno-religious community which has thoroughly written itself into the Polish ethno-cultural landscape. Th e example of their history and contemporary life shows both the identity strategies undertaken by the groups which have a postmigration origin and which for centuries have lived in a social environment that is different from their own culture and religion, as well as – which is significant in the context of the debate in recent years concerning the possibility of a dialogue between the Islamic and Western worlds – the ways of building relations...

  5. Part II. Non-Migrant, Anti-Islam Interactions/Identifications

    • CHAPTER 7 ‘Anti-Islamization of Europe’ Activism or the Phenomenon of an Allegedly ‘Non-racist’ Islamophobia: A Case Study of a Problematic Advocacy Coalition
      (pp. 139-160)
      Vincent Legrand

      In the first chapter in this second Part, this time dedicated to the non-migrant and anti-Islam interactions/identifications, we present research that is based on the observation of a series of actors in Western Europe grappling – directly or indirectly – with a growing cultural and religious diversity, with Islam as a new religion asserting itself at the forefront, in an area which is traditionally mainly Christian and secular. More specifically the first section presents a synthesis of ‘anti-islamization of Europe’ activism, setting out the context, the actors and main features of the phenomenon. The second section is an original case-study based on...

    • CHAPTER 8 Discourses on Religion and Identity in Norway: Right-Wing Radicalism and Anti-Immigration Parties
      (pp. 161-170)
      Frédérique Harry

      For the last twenty years, Europe has witnessed the birth of new extreme right-wing movements fighting for a stronger national identity, supporting islamophobic theses and sharing a strong dislike of immigration figures and policies. Little by little, anti-immigration parties have become leading forces in many countries and are now duly represented in numerous Parliaments (in Sweden, Denmark, Norway Finland, as well as in France, Greece, the Netherlands and so on). Vincent Legrand’s work (see also in this book) depicts some of these new movements, including such organizations as ‘Stop Islamization Of Europe’ in Denmark, which share transnational networks and a...

    • CHAPTER 9 Competing Forms of Identity and the Concept of Sovereignty in Europe
      (pp. 171-194)
      Murat Sevencan

      Though a person may carry more than one group identity within the layers of self-perception, the effect of it upon his/her choices and decisions depends mostly on the salience of belongingness for that person. Moreover this salience is continuously and indefinitely challenged by other possible and present group identities. Along with the putting on and off the membership hat game, the national identity is not excluded either.

      Even if in recent years, nationalism has been on the rise in Europe, it may be interpreted as a reaction to the decline in salience of national identity within the community of social...

    • CHAPTER 10 Democratic Theory and the Autonomy of Non-Christian Religious Courts in the UK
      (pp. 195-212)
      Ephraim Nimni

      This chapter discusses the dilemmas of the relationship between religions of non-Christian minorities and the state in Western liberal democracies. It also explores the potential way out of these dilemmas offered by the limited autonomy granted in the UK to the Jewish orthodox Beth Din and, by implication, the autonomy of Islamic Shariah Courts, as sanctioned in the UK Parliament’s (Divorce) Religious Marriages Bill 2002. It is argued here that this legislation has implications that go beyond the specific needs of the Orthodox Jewish community, to constitute an example of an embryonic democratic pluralism that leads to the creation of...

    • CHAPTER 11 Islamophobia and the Crises of Europe’s Multiculturalism
      (pp. 213-228)
      Chris Allen

      The manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik made clear who he saw as the ‘enemies’ of contemporary Europe: Islam and multiculturalism. Such views are not the preserve of Breivik and the far-right however; similar views are routinely expressed across Europe’s political landscape. Whilst Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s David Cameron and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy explicitly declared that multiculturalism was dead, less explicit was the suggestion that Islam and Muslims were to blame. As Parekh puts it, the crisis of European multiculturalism depends upon answering the ‘Muslim Question’. This chapter explores some of these key issues in the British context before widening its...

  6. Conclusion

    • CHAPTER 12 Ethnic-Religious Intersections and New Multiculturalism
      (pp. 231-242)
      Johan Leman, Erkan Toğuşlu and İsmail Mesut Sezgin

      What we have learned from the chapters in this book is that in Europe today we have started living in an epoch in which the post-immigrant’s ‘new’ ethnicity expresses itself very often in religious emblems, and the indigenous ethnicity looks for an expression through regional nationalisms and ethnicized and culturally essentialized secular religion. In such situations, indigenous ethnicity may claim a first-born’s right on a particular territory, underpinned by values and standards unlike that of the religiosity on which the post-migrant communities rely. In both cases this leads to all kinds of constructions, and it is here that the globalization...

  7. About the Authors
    (pp. 243-246)