Euromuslim, Gangster, Prophet-Lover, Islamist? Young Muslim Men in Berlin between Public Discourse, Religious Discursive Traditions, and Gendered Subject Formation
In my PhD project, I focus on constructions of masculinity and processes of subject formation among young Muslims attending sermons and lectures in different mosque communities in Berlin. Taking into account the fluidity and dynamics of identity constructions, the project aims at identifying forms of masculinity that young Muslim men in Germany enact, in addition to practices and social spaces relevant to masculinity constructions. As masculinity is a relational category, it will also be relevant to the analysis how women in these mosque spheres envision masculinity, how gender relations are performed and negotiated, and how masculinities are linked with notions of femininity.
By what kind of practices are particular forms of masculinity acquired, shaped, enacted, affirmed, transformed, or criticized in everyday life, and how do they differ from one social field to another? Researching religiously grounded forms of masculinity, it is of particular interest to me to determine what kinds of ‘techniques of the self’ (Foucault) men in the field apply in order to consciously work on their ethical selves, in which ways their bodies are involved, emotions cultivated, and gender regimes applied in this process. Hereby, I build upon the theoretical work of Talal Asad, Michel Foucault, Saba Mahmood, and Monique Scheer.
To further contextualize my ethnographic research, I would on the one hand like to trace discursive traditions and transnational links relevant to the imams and their listeners in the field and their importance to men’s and women’s knowledge acquisition, subject positioning and gender identity constructions. On the other hand, my project focuses on the analysis of the public discourse concerning problematic Muslim masculinities in Germany and how this discourse and subject formation processes of young Muslims are intertwined with each other.
First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Schirin Amir-Moazami
Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich