Introduction: Being Young and Muslim in Neoliberal Times

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Muslim youth have assumed a central, if complex, place in the politics and cultures and politics of the global South and North. Their cultural behavior can be understood as representing a new arena of contestation for power in a global era. In conventional wisdom, a combination of youth bulge, unemployment, marginality, and a general sentiment of deprivation has given Muslim youth an exceptional status. This chapter shows that although the majority of young Muslims share many common social, political, and economic misfortunes, they respond to their situations and express their youthfulness through remarkably diverse ways. Although groups of them have been drawn into radical Islam, others have embraced their religion more as an identity marker or lifestyle choice, whereas still others opt for secularism. Far from being "exceptional," young Muslims in reality have as much in common with their non-Muslim global generational counterparts as they share among themselves. They are simultaneously objects, agents and victims on a world stage and are engaged in constant negotiation between being Muslim, modern, and young.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBeing Young and Muslim
Subtitle of host publicationNew Cultural Politics in the Global South and North
EditorsLinda Herrera, Asef Bayat
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199871179
ISBN (Print)9780195369212
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural politics
  • Generation
  • Globalization
  • Lifestyles
  • Muslim youth
  • Radicalism
  • Youth bulge
  • Youthfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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