Dilemmas of belonging: Young Muslim women in the Danish youth alcohol culture

Marie Fjellerup Bærndt, Vibeke Asmussen Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: Focusing on drinking and partying among young Muslim women in Denmark, our aim was to examine how the drinking practices of young Muslim women are influenced by belonging, understood as sentiments of (national) belonging as well as the broader (politicised) discourse on Muslims in Denmark. Methods and data: Based on 32 qualitative in-depth interviews with young Muslim women, this paper explores their drinking practices as situated in a national youth culture highly influenced by alcohol intoxication. We draw on Nira Yuval-Davies’ (2006) distinction between belonging (as emotional attachment) and the politics of belonging. Findings: We found that the young women attempt to avoid negative comments based on stereotypes of Muslims and their drinking, by toning down being a Muslim. In addition, we showed how the difficulties of drinking alcohol while being both Muslim and Danish leads to several of the young women experiencing an ‘identity crisis’. Lastly, we found that a way for the studied women to reconcile Muslim and Danish identities is through faith, namely through actively choosing what kind of Muslim they want to be. Conclusion: Being part of a national youth culture of alcohol intoxication is inevitably dilemma-filled for the study's participants and they are challenged in their belonging. We argue that these dilemmas do not stand alone, but rather point to the broader predicaments of these women in Danish society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Volume40
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
ISSN1455-0725
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • social work and social conditions

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