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Keep It Halal! A Smartphone Ethnography of Muslim Dating

In: Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture
Author:
Farah HasanFaculty of Humanities and Social Sciences: Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany, farah.hasan@hu-berlin.de

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Abstract

This article reveals how Muslim religious identity is impacted by Muslim dating apps. The development of Muslim dating apps within the last decade has led to Muslims seeking partners beyond their physical and social locality. The following research takes inner-Muslim discursive traditions into account in order to examine how Muslim males articulate and negotiate their Islamic identity in the process of partner selection. The research’s methodological approach draws from digital ethnography, with the smartphone as the primary field site. The smartphone ethnography on the app of Muzmatch will demonstrate that users are physically embedded in doctrinally heterogenous contexts. Yet, the religious framework of the app promotes a “doctrinal homogeneity” that finds expression via the discursive articulations of the app users. It will be shown that users are being shaped by the app as they incorporate the religious framework provided by it.

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