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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

THEO5175M Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State

30 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Prof Sean McLouglin

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

Concepts discussed include religion, ethnicity, identity, globalisation, multiculturalism and the nation, and topics studied include mosques, their function, funding and the Islamisation of public space; the state, multiculturalism and education, including Muslim schools; differences of gender and generation in Muslim communities; the Rushdie Affair, Islamophobia and the law; British-Muslim links to a global Islamic community; conversion to Islam.If the module recruits three or fewer students, it will be delivered via 3 hours of supervision with the module leader (instead of the format specified below).


i) To comprehend the unity and diversity in Islam and Muslim societies;

ii) To understand the variety of ways in which religious and ethnic identities are reimagined and reinvented in different social, cultural, economic and political contexts;

iii) To examine a variety of contemporary issues in the study of religion and social theory;

iv) To identify the ways in which dimensions of power and authority operate within and across social groupings;

v) To critically assess the wider significance and implications of the Muslim presence for religion in the public life of Britain;

vi) To reflect upon disciplinary contexts in the emergence and development of a Muslims in Britain literature.

Skills outcomes
Directed and self-directed reading; independently evaluating a body of work / the work of others; presentation skills; extended and complex forms of writing.


This module draws on theories and empirical studies from the social-sciences, particularly sociology and social anthropology, to illuminate what happens to religion in contexts of migration, diaspora and trans-nationalism. The key conceptual vocabulary to be explored includes 'religion', 'culture', 'diaspora', '(post)modernity', 'globalisation', 'nation', 'race', 'ethnicity', 'multiculturalism' and 'hybridity'. While the main focus of attention is the context of late modern Britain - the legacy of empire, approaches to 'citizenship' and 'multiculturalism', immigration and discrimination legislation, the place of religion in public life - other European contexts are also considered mainly for comparative purposes. After an account of Muslim - particularly Pakistani and Kashmiri - migration to Britain, its contexts and consequences, the emphasis shifts to i) ethnographic accounts of the ways in which Islam has been reconstructed in diasporic 'communities' segmented by ethnicity and sect, gender and generation and ii) Muslim calls for public recognition by the state and wider society (e.g. state-funded Muslim schools, the Rushdie Affair, Islamophobia). Finally, attention is given to the way that local-global crises such as 9/11 have shaped the 'predicament' of Muslim diasporas and to the ways that emerging Muslim intellectuals have reflected on such circumstances.

Lecture topics as follows:
1 Overview of Module
2 Religion, Culture and Diaspora: Key Conceptual Vocabularies
3 'Race', Religion, Citizenship & Nation in Postcolonial Britain
4 The Migration Process: 1800 - 2000
5 Reconstructing Communities: Religion and Ethnicity, Gender and Generation
6 Institutionalising Islam: Institutions, Movements and Leaderships
7 The Politics of Recognition in Plural Liberal Democracies
8 The Rushdie Affair: a case study
9 The Predicament of Muslim Diasporas after 9/11
10 New Muslim Intellectuals in the West
11 Module Overview

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours277.00
Total Contact hours23.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Set reading and own research, note-taking, preparation of seminar presentations, preparation of assignment

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Essay plan/draft up to 1000 words.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay5,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 14:25:35


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