Becoming Muslim: The Development of a Religious Identity

Lori Peek
2005 Sociology of religion  
This study explores the process of reIigious identity formation and examines the emergence of reli-#on as the most salient source of personal and social identity for a group of second-generation Muslim Americans. Drawing on data gathered through participant observation, focus groups, and individual interviews with Muslim university students in New York and Colorado, three stages of religious identity development are presented: religion as ascribed identity ; reli#on as chosen identity; and
more » ... on as declared identity. This research illustrates how reli#ous identity emerges in social and historical context and demonstrates that its development is variable rather than static. Additionally, I discuss the impacts of September 11 and show how a crisis event can impel a particular identity--in this case, reliuous--to become even more central to an individual's concept of self. Through asserting the primacy of their religious identity over other forms of social identity, religion became a powerfut base of personal identification and coIlective association for these young Muslims.
doi:10.2307/4153097 fatcat:n7zfvdd5pvb4djapychixgyxmi