“Arabic is the language of the Muslims - that’s how it was supposed to be”: exploring language and religious identity through reflective accounts from young British-born Asians.

Date

2010

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1367–4676

Volume Title

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This study explores how a group of young British-born South Asians understood and defined their religious and linguistic identities, focusing upon the role played by heritage languages and liturgical languages and by religious socialisation. Twelve British-born South Asians were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Interview transcripts were subjected to interpretative pheno- menological analysis. Four superordinate themes are reported. These addressed participants’ meaning-making regarding ‘‘the sanctification of language’’ and the consequential suitability of ‘‘the liturgical language as a symbol of religious community’’; the themes of ‘‘ethnic pride versus religious identity’’ and ‘‘linguistic Otherness and religious alienation’’ concerned potential ethno-linguistic barriers to a positive religious identity. Findings are interpreted in terms of concepts drawn from relevant identity theories and tentative recommendations are offered concerning the facilitation of positive religious and ethnic identities.

Description

Keywords

identity, religion, culture, language, South Asians, interpretative phenomenological analysis, qualitative

Citation

Jaspal, R. and Coyle, A. (2010) “Arabic is the language of the Muslims - that’s how it was supposed to be”: exploring language and religious identity through reflective accounts from young British-born Asians. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 13 (1), pp. 17-36.

Rights

Research Institute

Media Discourse Centre (MDC)
Mary Seacole Research Centre