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Being white, British and Muslim: exploring the identity recognition, negotiation and performance of seemingly incompatible identities

Amer, Amena (2020) Being white, British and Muslim: exploring the identity recognition, negotiation and performance of seemingly incompatible identities. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In focusing on white British Muslims, this thesis explores how their multiple, seemingly incompatible identities shape their experiences of belonging, particularly in relation to how they are seen by others. The thesis examines this through three empirical studies. The first looks at the social representations of white British Muslims within British mainstream and British Muslim newspapers and explores how representations of threat are discursively constructed, perpetuated and challenged. The second paper examines how white British Muslims perceive their identities to be recognised by relevant others. It notes how their identities interact and intersect, influencing which identities are acknowledged while others are erased. It shows that as a result, white British Muslims draw on performative strategies to regain a sense of control over their perceived (mis/non)recognition. Finally, the third paper looks at actual identity recognition by relevant others (white British non-Muslims and non-white British Muslims) and considers the role that religious markers and signifiers play in these dynamics and on intentions for social interaction. It also investigates recognition after the revelation of their multiple, seemingly incompatible identities and what this means for intergroup distinctiveness. Drawing the findings together, the thesis makes three key contributions. Empirically, this thesis makes a novel empirical contribution to social psychological research by focusing on white British Muslims. Theoretically it, 1) emphasises that identities are contextual, interactional and intersectional, and that they need to be recognised as such in order to better understand identity-related processes in an increasingly complex world, and 2) demonstrates the significance of incorporating recognition and identity performance into the theorisation of identities. In doing so, it emphasises the central role others play in processes of identification and sheds light on 4 the social productions of, and challenges to, group boundaries along the lines of sameness and difference.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2020 Amena Amer
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Sets: Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Supervisor: Howarth, Caroline and Gleibs, Ilka

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