My PhD project concerns cultural encounters and Muslim identity formation in a multicultural Swedish context. Ethnographic methods are used to analyse social interaction within urban spaces that have been greatly affected by international migration. As a result, these spaces are often shared by cultural communities linked to many different parts of the world, a fact that highlights questions about how social interaction with these environments affect how religious identities are expressed and understood by local inhabitants. Basic terms for religious self-designation (e.g., ‘Muslim’) are often shared across cultural boundaries, yet are also defined and expressed differently, depending on broader notions of ethnic and denominational identity. In relation to these dynamics, the project will explore how Swedish Muslims negotiate such differences and formulate new forms of religious identity as a result—either as a way of accommodating difference, or as way of marking exclusion. Simultaneously, the project will also try to situate these negotiative practices within the broader, historical context of contemporary Swedish society, while also exploring how transnational developments affect local communities.


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