Publication Details

Ajala, I. 2018, 'Muslim youth and consumerism: a study of Islamic street wear', Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 57-71.


Drawing on a framework that goes beyond the usual securitization lens and that includes other neglected sociological dynamics, namely consumerism and individualization, this article explores an overlooked form of dress in the research on Islamic dress in the West which is Islamic street wear. This analysis interrogates what Islamic street wear reveals, in terms of identity, about the experience of young Muslims living as a minority in secular spaces. Various messages collected from message T-shirts are deconstructed to precisely highlight the effect of these different dynamics on the articulation of identities by young Muslims. A theoretical framework grounded in the notion of hybridity guides a systematic content analysis of the messages. The analysis of these messages reveals the strong individualization of faith deriving from consumerist patterns, the rather limited expression of the controversial "ummatic" loyalty to Muslims worldwide and the assertion of pride in Muslim identity.



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