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Open Access Religious superdiversity and intersectionality on the field

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In contemporary Western-European cities, religious diversity and street football are both characteristics of urban life. Based on ten months of ethnographic research amongst young Muslim residents of the Schilderswijk, an urban neighbourhood in the Netherlands, this article discusses how to study religious diversity in relation to girls’ football in urban spaces. It critically discusses how religion in intersectionality scholarship and in feminist scholarship on religion and gender is narrowly conceptualised as a form of racialised oppression or as piousness. I argue that these conceptualisations fail to capture the urban experiences and practices of ‘religious but not so religious’ young residents of the Schilderswijk who play football together. I conceptualise these young residents as ‘space invaders’ in urban football playgrounds and show that they have diverse experiences and strategies of playing football, which include but also exceed Islam, Islamophobia, and racism. I argue that their practices are, in addition to an intersectionality analysis, best understood through the concept of religious superdiversity (Becci, Burchardt, & Giorda, 2017), which provides a perspective that combines both religious and non-religious practices in urban life. Religious superdiversity emphasises the lived religious and secular experiences of young people in urban spaces beyond, on the one hand, piousness, and, on the other hand, racialised oppression and Islamophobia, and therefore provides an innovative approach to religious diversity in urban spaces.
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Keywords: everyday Islam; gender; intersectionality; religious women’s agency; sports; urban space

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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