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Iraqi women in Denmark

Ritual performance and belonging in everyday life

By Marianne Holm Pedersen

Iraqi women in Denmark
Hardcover

ALSO AVAILABLE IN OTHER FORMATS:

  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8958-9
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: March 2014
  • BIC Category: Sociology, Anthropology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, Society & social sciences / Physical anthropology
  • Series: New Ethnographies

Description

Iraqi women in Denmark is an ethnographic study of ritual performance and place-making among Shi'a Muslim Iraqi women in Copenhagen. The book explores how Iraqi women construct a sense of belonging to Danish society through ritual performances, and investigates how this process is interrelated with their experiences of inclusion and exclusion in Denmark. The findings refute the all too simplistic assumptions of general debates on Islam and immigration in Europe that tend to frame religious practice as an obstacle to integration in the host society. In sharp contrast to the fact that the Iraqi women's religious activities in many ways contribute to categorising them as outsiders to Danish society, their participation in religious events also localises them in the city.

Written in an accessible, narrative style, this book addresses both an academic audience and the general reader interested in Islam in Europe and immigration to Scandinavia.

Reviews

'It is a major contribution to our understanding of the lived experience of [Iraqi Shi'ite women in exile] and their families, and an important corrective to the widespread popular stereotype of Muslim women as passive ('veiled') victims of patriarchy which pervades European media and legislatures. Her findings in this rich study should make policy-makers concerned about 'integration', indeed all of us, pause for thought.'
Ralph Grillo, University of Sussex

'Marianne Holm Pedersen's Iraqi Women in Denmark makes an important contribution to studies of Muslims and Islam in Europe.'
Zainab Saleh, Haverford College, September 2016 issue of American Anthropologist, Volume 118, No. 3

Contents

Introduction: challenges of belonging
Part I: Contextualising the study
1. Setting the scene: ritual performance and place-making in everyday life
2. Finding a place for oneself: processes of settlement in Denmark
Part II: Ritual as a cultural prism
3. The celebration of 'Id al-fitr: notions of relatedness among extended family
4. The commemoration of Muharram: negotiating community
5. Fatima's taklif: bringing up children for a good future
Part III: Notions of belonging revised
6. Living in a transnational social field: notions of belonging revised
7. Conclusion: ritual performance and belonging
Glossary
Notes
References
Index

Author

Marianne Holm Pedersen is Senior Researcher at the National Collections Department (Danish Folklore Archives), The Royal Library

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