Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods

Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods

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by Michelle Fine, Selcuk R. Sirin
     
 

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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

Overview

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 road map for those seeking to understand how Muslim youth and other groups of immigrant youth negotiate their identities as Americans.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kristin Anderson
With great respect for their research subjects, the authors explore the impact that living with a hyphenated identity has on teens and young adults. The term Muslim American came into prominence in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. This culturally diverse group has now been lumped together, despite internal differences, and is under a great deal of scrutiny. Because it is a newly defined group, very little research on them is available. The authors use surveys, identity maps, and focus groups to glean information from their subjects. The survey data shows clearly that a significant percentage of Muslim American teens are integrating American culture and that they live on both sides of their hyphenate, considering themselves both Muslim and American. The authors' more powerful observations, however, have to do with gender differences: They observe that whereas young Muslim American women tend to feel as if they have a responsibility to educate others about Islam, young Muslim American men tend to feel uncomfortable expressing religious or political beliefs to others. As professional reading, this title may be useful for those who work with large immigrant populations, particularly those from traditionally Muslim countries. Although the authors' conclusions are interesting, it is possible that those who work with Muslim teens could reach similar conclusions by simply spending some time talking to them. Nevertheless this book will be particularly useful for any professional who needs well-researched support for what their instinct tells them their community needs. Reviewer: Kristin Anderson
From the Publisher
"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

“This work complexly and richly captures the diversity in the lived identities of Muslim-American youth, highlighting the power and potential of mixed methodologies in studying the phenomenon of life on the hyphen.”
-Harvard Educational Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814740828
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
07/12/2008
Series:
Qualitative Studies in Psychology
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
4 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"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

"This book will be particularly useful for any professional who needs well-researched support for what their instinct tells them their community needs."
-VOYA Voices of Youth Advocates

,

“With heart and eloquence, the authors illuminate vital concerns about our society's treatment of Muslim-American youth.”
-Youth Today

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“This work complexly and richly captures the diversity in the lived identities of Muslim-American youth, highlighting the power and potential of mixed methodologies in studying the phenomenon of life on the hyphen.”
-Harvard Educational Review

Meet the Author

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology, Women’s Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of a long list of award-winning books in the fields of education and psychology, including Framing Dropouts, Becoming Gentlemen, and Speedbumps: A Student Friendly Guide to Qualitative Research and The Unknown City, both with Lois Weis. She is also coeditor of NYU Press’s Qualitative Studies in Psychology series.


Selcuk R. Sirin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University.

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Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disappointing work, weak conclusions and unlikely to teach you anything you did not already know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for anyone interested in acknowledging and understanding the multiple and complex challenges faced by all immigrant youth in the U.S, and Muslim American youth in particular, as well as the ingenious ways in which they manage to cope and succeed.