This year, the methods workshop will take a closer look at the lived realities of Muslims in Canada. In the Fall sessions, we will look at Canadian Muslim integration, and barriers Muslims face when considering Canada home. Canada has long been hailed as an exceptional country when integrating immigrants, yet researchers have documented a significant and salient increase in anti-Muslim violence. Join us for the Fall sessions to further explore how these shifting realities play a role in the public lives of Canadian Muslims.
In the Winter sessions, we will take a more intimate look into the private lives of Canadian Muslims. Specifically, we will interrogate the role of gender and intergenerational ties that structure family households and grant unequal power, privileges, and opportunities differentially. While Canadian Muslims are increasing moving towards norms of egalitarian and equal marriages, Muslim women nonetheless experience some of the highest rates of under- and unemployment. Come for critical conversations on the roles of gender, religion, and immigration in structuring the Canadian Muslim household today.
All sessions will be held on the first Friday of the month, from 6 – 8 pm over Zoom (during COVID-related restrictions).
Please contact Sarah Shah (firstname.lastname@example.org) for access to readings.
October 2, 2020: An (un)welcoming home: Muslim economic and social integration in Canada
A way to measure how welcoming a host society is to immigrants is measuring economic and social integration, or how well the immigrant group is able to function with social and public institutions. While Canada is hailed a mosaic given perceived immigrant integration success, the experience of Canadian Muslims tells a different story. In this session, we will review research on Canadian Muslim economic and social integration experiences.
Moghissi, Haideh, Saeed Rahnema, Mark J. Goodman, and Saeed Rahnema. 2009. “Social and Economic Integration.” Pp 144-167 in Diaspora by Design: Muslims in Canada and Beyond. University of Toronto Press.
Kazemipur, Abdolmohammad. 2014. “Muslims at Work.” Pp 119-143 in The Muslim Question in Canada: A Story of Segmented Integration. University of British Columbia Press.
November 6, 2020: Constructions of race, structures of exclusion
In the previous session, we explored the ways that Canada can be unwelcoming for new immigrants, especially Muslims. For some Muslims, additional factors can make it even more difficult to feel at home in Canada. We will focus on the experiences of black Canadian Muslims to better understand how intersecting constructions of race can create structures of exclusion.
Ajrouch, Kristine J. and Abdi M. Kusow. 2007. “Racial and religious contexts: Situational identities among Lebanese and Somali Muslim immigrants.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 30(1): 72-94.
Mugabo, Délice. 2016. “On Rocks and Hard Places: A Reflection on Antiblackness in Organizing against Islamophobia.” Critical Ethnic Studies 2(2): 159-183.
Jackson-Best, Fatimah. 2019. “Black Muslims in Canada: A Systematic Review of Published and Unpublished Literature.” The Black Muslim Initiative in collaboration with Tessellate Institute.
December 4, 2020: Religious hegemony: the (in)visibility of Christian-centricity
Nothing makes home feel more like home than holiday festivities and customs. In a Christian-dominant country like Canada, Muslims can easily see the difference between public celebrations of Christmas compared to Eid. In what other ways are Muslims experiencing Christian religious hegemony? We will critically approach religion as a social institution that lends political privilege to adherents vis-à-vis members of other faith groups. This lens will facilitate our assessment of the treatment of religious minorities within Christian-majority states.
Asfari, Amin and Ron Hirschbein. 2018. “Two Semites Confront Anti-Semitism: On the Varities of Anti-Semitic Experience.” Pages: 106-125 in Peace, Culture, and Violence, ed. Fuat Gursozlu. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004361911_007.
González, Alessandra L. 2011. “Measuring Religiosity in a Majority Muslim Context: Gender, Religious Salience, and Religious Experience Among Kuwaiti College Students—A Research Note.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50: 339-350. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-5906.2011.01571.x
Dick, Hannah. 2019. “In Québec, Christian liberalism becomes the religious authority.” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/in-quebec-christian-liberalism-becomes-the-religious-authority-114548.
February 5, 2021: Bargaining with Patriarchy in Canada
We might think of the work we put into romantic relationships as a selfless labour of love. Using social exchange theory, however, we quickly see how our relationships are symbiotic transactional exchanges. But when we have unequal social power, these relationships may not be mutually beneficial. Turning to Kandiyoti’s classical theory, “Bargaining with Patriarchy,” we will explore how households were structured in Muslim-majority settings. Specifically, we will discuss how the Muslim household is structured in Canada, linkages that transferred transnationally, and norms that are no longer normal.
Kandiyoti, Deniz. 1988. “Bargaining with Patriarchy.” Gender & Society 2(3):274–290.
Siraj, Asifa. 2010. “‘Because I’m the man! I’m the head’: British married Muslims and the patriarchal family structure.” Contemporary Islam 4:195–214.
Baksh, Nazim. 2019. “A man ‘cannot do that to a woman’: Why polygamy in Canadian Muslim community could be another #MeToo moment.” <https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/polygamy-canadian-muslim-community-1.4971971>
March 5, 2021: When home is the least safe place: Violence against Muslim Women
In honour of women’s history month, we get deeper into women’s experiences to explore the riskiest place for a woman: her home. In this session, we will explore the justifications, however unjust, given for violence against women. We will also explore the narrative of honour that is often invoked in Canadian Muslim instances of family violence.
Ali Alisha, and Brenda B. Toner. 2001. “Self-Esteem as a Predictor of Attitudes toward Wife Abuse among Muslim Women and Men in Canada.” The Journal of Social Psychology 141(1):23-30.
Gallagher, Sally K. 2007. “Agency, Resources, and Identity: Lower-Income Women’s Experiences in Damascus.” Gender & Society 21(2):227–249.
Ali, Kecia. 2003. “Honor Killings, Illicit Sex, and Islamic Law.”<http://www.brandeis.edu/projects/fse/muslim/honor.html>
April 2, 2021: Abandoning the elderly?
Family nucleation is allowing more and more young couples to enjoy independence and autonomy in their homes. However, this is displacing their parents’ generation, who are increasingly falling through the gaps of social support and resources. In this session, we will explore the issues family nucleation brings forward, and possible strategies to address these issues.
Salma Jordana, and Bukola Salami. 2019. “‘Growing Old is not for the Weak of Heart’: Social isolation and loneliness in Muslim immigrant older adults in Canada.” Health and Social Care in the Community 28(2):615-623.
Olmsted, Jennifer C. 2005. “Gender, Aging, and the Evolving Arab Patriarchal Contract.” Feminist Economics 11(2): 53–78.
Hussain, Shadim. 2020. “NHS officials told me Muslim households are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.” <https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-muslim-mosque-closure-prayer-nhs-a9411936.html>