Living between two cultures : an ethnographic study of American women converts to Islam Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q811kn770

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  • This thesis explores the reasons for conversion to Islam for ten well-educated, Caucasian, American born women of European descent in a small, relatively affluent college town in Oregon, United States. It follows their process of constructing a new identity with their families, with friends, within the Muslim community and within self. Language choice and lifestyle choices are also examined. Semi-structured interviews with the women were done and several issues were in common. Issues of balancing American culture with their new culture, how they negotiate between two different cultures in daily life, how they are viewed by others and how they now view the world are examined. The results show that these women made a clear, rational and intellectual decision rather than an emotional decision when deciding to convert. They made the decision after careful research and despite some problems, would make the same decision again.
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