Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationPennsylvania, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9984
Approve DateAugust 26, 2020
Project TitleBinte-Farid, Irteza (Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania) "Ethical Self-Cultivation Amongst Black Muslim Youth"
This dissertation explores the ethical self-cultivation of black Muslim youth in Philadelphia. Anthropologist Saba Mahmood describes ethical self-cultivation as a “specific sets of procedures, techniques, and exercises through which highly specific ethical-moral subjects come to be formed” (Mahmood, 2005, p.120). I consider this process as well as how it becomes racialized and gendered in the everyday lives of black Muslim youth. I suggest that this process of cultivating an Islamic self is mediated by the moral assemblage the youth encounter and must navigate. Zigon defines a moral assemblage as “a moral system [that] is not a totality that exists by itself but is rather constructed through the unique combinations of local moral and ethical beliefs” (Zigon, 2010, p.6). I explore how black Muslim youth negotiate divergent influences within this moral assemblage. More specifically, I ask: How does the process of ethical self-cultivation, achieved through specific techniques and practices within this moral assemblage, produce the kinds of ethical-moral subjects that black Muslim youth aspire to become as they strive towards their future imagined selves within secular and sacred educational spaces? How do processes of racialization and gender influence how these youth come to understand and produce themselves as ethical, educated subjects?