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Being Young and MuslimNew Cultural Politics in the Global South and North$
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Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369212.001.0001

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Introduction: Being Young and Muslim in Neoliberal Times

Introduction: Being Young and Muslim in Neoliberal Times

(p.3) 1 Introduction: Being Young and Muslim in Neoliberal Times
Being Young and Muslim

Asef Bayat

Linda Herrera (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   cultural politics, youth bulge, generation, youthfulness, Muslim youth, lifestyles, radicalism, globalization

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