Center for Global Studies

Lecture Summary

The Politics of Place: Internet Mediated Communication and Activism Among Young Muslim Women in Non-Muslim Societies

Dorthe Possing presented her research on young Muslim women in the U.S., U.K. and Denmark on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University. Possing is currently working on her doctoral dissertation at the Institute for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and has been a scholar-in-residence at the Center for Global Studies for the fall semester, 2009. Although her work is ongoing, she outlined some preliminary findings on the relationship between online communication and offline political activism in three non-Muslim societies. Her research began with two key questions: how are we to understand ideas of home and belonging among young Muslim women living in non-Muslim societies and how, and under which circumstances, are such ideas affected by widespread changes in patterns of communications and mobility? Possing approached these research questions through semi-structured interviews with fifty women, followed by discourse analysis. Through examining how the debates and events impact the interviewees’ ability to voice their political opinions and locate outlets for political mobilization, Possing explored some of the differences and similarities between the politics of place in the U.S. and U.K as well as in Denmark, where she was able to study the lived space for young Muslim women in more depth.