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One Religion, Many Identities? The Reception 
of Islam Related News Items by Muslim 
Women with Turkish, Moroccan and 
Flemish roots in Flanders1

In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
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  • 1 Researcher, Member of research Group Media, Policy and Culture, University of Antwerp, St Jacobstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, Email: Deborah.broos@ua.ac.be
  • | 2 Professor of Communication Studies, Head of research Group Media, Policy and Culture, University of Antwerp, St Jacobstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium, Email: Hilde.vandenbulck@ua.ac.be
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This paper contributes to the existing body of knowledge regarding the relationship between media and diasporic identity formation by moving beyond the notion of Muslim women as a uniform group and questioning the dichotomy of the West versus Islam. To investigate the (versatility of the) relationship between media, culture and (re)created collective identities, focus group interviews were carried out with Muslim women with Turkish, Moroccan and Flemish roots, all living in Flanders. They were shown a number of news items representative of public service broadcasting and commercial television newscasts that were analyzed for the representation of ethnic minorities, followed by focus group discussions. The results demonstrate the diversity and hybridity within the Muslim women’s identities—with religious, ethnic and cultural aspects mediating the reception of these media texts resulting in a ‘polyphony’ of Muslim identities.

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