Moroccan Muslim Women and Identity Negotiation in Diasporic Spaces

in Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
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The complexity of today’s heterogeneous world demands more than the dominant binary of Islam versus West established via the identity framework of critical communication and cultural studies, particularly when discussing diasporic spaces. Drawing on qualitative interviews with twenty Muslim Moroccan women, conducted in the United States and Morocco and informed by interdisciplinary research on space, this paper argues that attaining the diasporic space should be understood both in terms of physical migration and in terms of discursive migration that includes non-territorial movement. The paper starts by addressing the debate on diasporic spaces, the local or global spaces that can still be considered diasporic in an era of mediated communications. Second, the paper illustrates how the respondents negotiate diasporic identities in relation to both physical migration and discursive immigration. Finally, it considers how these young women are exploring possibilities for their gender identities by drawing on alternative diasporic identifications.

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