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  • Cited by 43
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
October 2013
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Socio-Legal Studies, Law, Political Sociology, Sociology

Book description

This book responds to the often loud debates about the place of Muslims in Western Europe by proposing an analysis based in institutions, including schools, courts, hospitals, the military, electoral politics, the labor market, and civic education courses. The contributors consider the way people draw on practical schemas regarding others in their midst who are often categorized as Muslims. Chapters based on fieldwork and policy analysis across several countries examine how people interact in their everyday work lives, where they construct moral boundaries, and how they formulate policies concerning tolerable diversity, immigration, discrimination, and political representation. Rather than assuming that each country has its own national ideology that explains such interactions, contributors trace diverse pathways along which institutions complicate or disrupt allegedly consistent national ideologies. These studies shed light on how Muslims encounter particular faces and facets of the state as they go about their lives, seeking help and legitimacy as new citizens of a fast-changing Europe.


‘This strikingly original volume takes debates about Muslims in Europe into new and exciting territory. It replaces simplistic models of national integration with a more subtle analysis of the intersection between national ideologies and the practical schemas for dealing with Muslims in many different institutions. Each chapter is a model of ethnographic rigour, insight and irony. The result is an ambitious, sophisticated and exceptionally well-crafted volume that deserves to be taken seriously by all researchers and policy makers concerned with Europe’s Muslims.’

James A. Beckford - University of Warwick

‘Connecting practical schemas, institutions, and boundary work, the chapters assembled here represent a real advance in our understanding of Muslims in Europe. The authors convincingly show how civic education courses, the army, hospitals, labor markets, and the judicial sphere are contexts where moral boundaries articulated around sex, gender and religion emerge and where institutional logics clash. Thus the case studies go beyond national models to reveal competing logics across institutional and countries. Theoretically, this remarkable collective effort raises new and provocative questions for institutionalist and cultural analysts across the social sciences. Substantively, it contributes mightily to our understanding of the future of diversity and multiculturalism in Europe, a topic of ever-growing urgency.’

Michèle Lamont - Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Professor of Sociology and African and African-American Studies, Harvard University

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