Advanced

"A minority within a minority": Skandinaviske kvinders konversion til islam

Madsen, Siri Østerbye LU (2012) SANK01 20121
Social Anthropology
Abstract
The focus of this bachelor’s thesis is on ethnic Scandinavian women who have converted to Islam, and on which significance the addition of a Muslim identity component will have on the converts’ identity and life.
Scandinavian society is characterised by freedom of worship for the individual, who thus has the right to practise any religion. The majority religion in Scandinavia through centuries has been and remains Christianity, whereby the act of converting to a minority religion, in this case Islam, must be expected to cause wonder and ignorance among other people.
What is interesting here is that Muslims in a Scandinavian context are most often questioned and looked upon as something dangerous posing a threat to the Scandinavian... (More)
The focus of this bachelor’s thesis is on ethnic Scandinavian women who have converted to Islam, and on which significance the addition of a Muslim identity component will have on the converts’ identity and life.
Scandinavian society is characterised by freedom of worship for the individual, who thus has the right to practise any religion. The majority religion in Scandinavia through centuries has been and remains Christianity, whereby the act of converting to a minority religion, in this case Islam, must be expected to cause wonder and ignorance among other people.
What is interesting here is that Muslims in a Scandinavian context are most often questioned and looked upon as something dangerous posing a threat to the Scandinavian communal and cultural value system, which is widely understood as homogenous.
The thesis focuses on exploring how Scandinavian women experience their conversion in terms of a) their encounter with the larger society and b) their own self-identity. Furthermore, this thesis will discuss how religious conversion affects the convert’s identity and how the converted women through specific self-representations try to affect others’ stigmatized opinion of them. Thereby the study is based on an understanding of identity as being socially constructed, changed and negotiated between the individual and her surroundings.
The results of the study show that female converts to Islam are met with many negative reactions and suspicions on the basis of their Scandinavian Muslim identity. In relation to born Muslims’ reactions to the converts’ identity combination, some find that the converts should receive credit for choosing Islam, while others believe that it is impossible for Scandinavians to convert to Islam because of their ethnic origin. Concerning non-Muslim ethnic Scandinavians, it is typically ideas of the oppression of Muslim women as well as the incompatibility of a Scandinavian ethnicity and a Muslim religiosity, which are directed towards the converts, thereby causing the women to be seen as traitors incapable of carrying out a valid Scandinavian ethnicity. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Madsen, Siri Østerbye LU
supervisor
organization
course
SANK01 20121
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
culture and society, identity, Scandinavian ethnicity, women, conversion, social anthropology, islam
language
Danish
id
2652174
date added to LUP
2012-06-13 08:00:21
date last changed
2012-06-13 08:00:21
@misc{2652174,
  abstract     = {The focus of this bachelor’s thesis is on ethnic Scandinavian women who have converted to Islam, and on which significance the addition of a Muslim identity component will have on the converts’ identity and life. 
Scandinavian society is characterised by freedom of worship for the individual, who thus has the right to practise any religion. The majority religion in Scandinavia through centuries has been and remains Christianity, whereby the act of converting to a minority religion, in this case Islam, must be expected to cause wonder and ignorance among other people. 
What is interesting here is that Muslims in a Scandinavian context are most often questioned and looked upon as something dangerous posing a threat to the Scandinavian communal and cultural value system, which is widely understood as homogenous. 
The thesis focuses on exploring how Scandinavian women experience their conversion in terms of a) their encounter with the larger society and b) their own self-identity. Furthermore, this thesis will discuss how religious conversion affects the convert’s identity and how the converted women through specific self-representations try to affect others’ stigmatized opinion of them. Thereby the study is based on an understanding of identity as being socially constructed, changed and negotiated between the individual and her surroundings. 
The results of the study show that female converts to Islam are met with many negative reactions and suspicions on the basis of their Scandinavian Muslim identity. In relation to born Muslims’ reactions to the converts’ identity combination, some find that the converts should receive credit for choosing Islam, while others believe that it is impossible for Scandinavians to convert to Islam because of their ethnic origin. Concerning non-Muslim ethnic Scandinavians, it is typically ideas of the oppression of Muslim women as well as the incompatibility of a Scandinavian ethnicity and a Muslim religiosity, which are directed towards the converts, thereby causing the women to be seen as traitors incapable of carrying out a valid Scandinavian ethnicity.},
  author       = {Madsen, Siri Østerbye},
  keyword      = {culture and society,identity,Scandinavian ethnicity,women,conversion,social anthropology,islam},
  language     = {dan},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {"A minority within a minority": Skandinaviske kvinders konversion til islam},
  year         = {2012},
}