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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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Securing Futures: Youth, Generation, and Muslim Identities in Niger

Securing Futures: Youth, Generation, and Muslim Identities in Niger

(p.225) 14 Securing Futures: Youth, Generation, and Muslim Identities in Niger
Being Young and Muslim

Adeline Masquelier

Oxford University Press

Against the backdrop of intensified global flows, liberalization of national politics, and deepening economic crises, a state-controlled, ostensibly monolithic Islamic tradition has evolved into multiple modes of Muslim religiosity in Niger. Young men, as they negotiate their “youthfulness” through the adoption of distinct dress styles and practices, are often at odds with elders, who complain that youth should listen to religious sermons instead of rap music and exchange their foreign-made T-shirts and jeans for the less expensive jaba, the tunic of devout Muslims. To such admonitions, unrepentant young men generally reply that being Muslim has little to do with one’s choice of radio program or wardrobe. In exploring the generational basis of emerging disagreements about Muslim identity and what Islam is, this chapter focuses on youth as a “social shifter.”

Keywords:   male youth, Muslim identity, Niger, generation, dress, styles, youth as social shifter

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