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Ethnologia Europaea 46:1
Special Issue: Muslim Intimacies
In every society, individual choice and freedom are shaped at least to some degree by the needs of familial and marital institutions. Currently, negotiations between individuals and families are undergoing transformations due to late modern processes such as recent waves of mass migration, the increasing transnationalism of everyday practices, global commerce in ideas and images, and the expansion of information technology into all corners of people's lives. Some of the greatest challenges are experienced by Muslim families; the majority of the world's Muslims live in extreme poverty, and in Europe, anti-Muslim sentiment has found a firm foothold in public attitudes and debates. This special issue explores the dilemmas facing transnational Muslim families as well as those who feel the impact of late modern transformations in societies where they have lived for generations. Five scholarly articles address family dynamics among Muslims in Finland (Anne Hakkinen), Ethiopia (Outi Fingerroos), Italy and Sweden (Pia Karlsson Minganti), Morocco (Raquel Gil Carvalheira), and Tanzania (Laura Stark); these are complemented by the insightful commentary by Garbi Schmidt. The aim of this theme issue is to develop new ways of talking about the links between Islam, family and the individual, which move away from the ethnocentrism of Western concepts and pay greater attention to the desires and goals of those studied. This volume includes two open issue contributions: Magdalena Elchinova scrutinizes identity construction among Orthodox Bulgarians based in Istanbul, and in the context of the post- Fordist "creative city" Ove Sutter analyses the playful and performative protests of activists following the declaration of the so-called Danger Zone 2014 in Hamburg, Germany.
Laura Stark is assistant professor in the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society and affiliated professor of history at Vanderbilt University.