Everyday Religion among Turkish Speaking Migrants in the Northwest of England

COSTU, MEHMET DAVUT (2021) Everyday Religion among Turkish Speaking Migrants in the Northwest of England. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract Drawing on interviews and participant observation, this thesis explores everyday Islamic practices of Turkish-speaking (TS) migrants in the Northwest of England. One Northwest city was chosen as the main geographical hub, while participants from other towns and cities in the region were also recruited. The study examines how religious practices are negotiated and reconfigured in the lives of TS migrants, and the ways that these religious practices become a conduit for maintaining a social and cultural connection with the homeland. More precisely, I explore how TS migrants’ interpretations of Islam are embedded in different aspects of their everyday lives. Although scholars envision the theory of everyday religion in slightly different ways, this thesis clarifies that looking for religion in social spaces through the binary between official and unofficial religion is not applicable in Islam. Therefore, this thesis offers an intervention into everyday religion theory from the perspective of a non-Christian tradition by filling a gap regarding how and where Islam is mobilised, invoked, or practised in a specific context. The overall conclusion demonstrates that TS migrants dynamically and proactively develop what religion (Islam) means to them within material (Islamic remittances, food, sahur, iftar) and immaterial aspects (naming practices) of their lives. I argue that religion is not only about the obligatory (fasting, zekat), but it is also about mundane, banal aspects of life, such as naming practices or food consumption during Ramadan. There are continuums between the text and the context, between the highly ritualised (obligatory) and the ordinary (banal) everyday religious practices. Therefore, the migrant position of the research participants (context) affects how they choose to practice Islam, which Islamic calendar to follow, where and how to discharge the obligation of almsgiving and other Islamic donations (sadaka, kurban), and what to name their children. The impact of context on everyday religion is explored through three different topics within this TS Muslim community. The original fieldwork and theoretical framing contribute to studies on everyday religion, Muslims in Britain, and TS migrants. This thesis concludes that Islam in everyday life through Ramadan, Islamic charitable giving, and naming practices challenges current theoretical understandings of everyday religion. Key words: Everyday Religion, Turkish-speaking migrants, Muslims in Britain.

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Thesis (PhD)
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21 Dec 2021 09:55
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 02:07