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The communication of identities and socialization practices among Muslim mothers in the United States
Abdalla, Marwa Ismaile
Geist-Martin, PatriciaLara, Irene
Parent-child communication is an important means of socializing children to manage tensions associated with their minority status in a diverse, multicultural society. However, for Muslim parents living in the United States, communicating with their children about their religious, national, and other intersecting identities in the face of Islamophobic discourses can prove challenging. This qualitative study draws on cultural identity theory (CIT) to examine how sixteen Muslim mothers raising children in the United States understand their own intersecting identities and communicate with their children about their intersecting religious, national, ethnic, and other cultural identities in the midst of increasing Islamophobia. Results suggest that Muslim mothers negotiate their intersecting religious, national, and gender identities in response to societal ascriptions, and that their avowals of particular qualities inform the constructions of their identities as parents. Results also highlight specific communication interactions that emerged from participants’ responses about socializing their children namely, moments where they challenged negative (mis)representations of Muslims in the media by socializing their children to avow “goodness” and dissociate Islam from terrorism, moments where they used preemptive avowals and ascriptions with their children to foster strength and confidence, and moments where they communicated with their children that they belonged. This study concludes by discussing these findings and their implications in light of CIT and outlines possible directions for future research.
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
San Diego State University
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2019
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