Navigating islamic enclosure and cosmopolitan space: Young Chinese female muslim converts in Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

This ethnographic research examines the interplay between perceived Islamic regulatory regime and cosmopolitan space through the experiences of a group of well-educated young Chinese female Muslim converts in Hong Kong, where Islam largely evokes imaginaries of ethnic minorities and “otherness.” As Chinese Muslim converts transition from the ethnic majority to an ethnic minority within the Muslim minority, which is predominantly comprised of Indonesian, South Asian, and African migrants, they navigate the challenges of being both insiders and outsiders. Moreover, Muslim-majority societies are often stereotypically perceived as being incompatible with gender equality and modernity. By focusing on the intersections of gender and ethnicity, this article argues that these women embody and represent regulatory enclosure and cosmopolitan identities simultaneously, necessitating continuous negotiations and contestations. They identify themselves as members of both the local and global Islamic communities, as well as modern, independent females in a cosmopolitan city. Through an exploration of their strategic creation of Islamic practices in response to different situations, this article sheds light on how the gendered, ethnicized body negotiates regulatory enclosure and cosmopolitanism, and how Islam is dynamically constituted and re-constituted locally in response to constantly evolving challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100564
Number of pages8
JournalCity, Culture and Society
Volume36
Early online date12 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Urban Studies
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bodily religious practices
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Female muslim converts
  • Hong Kong
  • Negotiations of religious identities

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