|dc.description.abstract||This thesis investigates processes of identification among young Muslim women in contemporary Dutch society. The research format is a case study analysis of essays written by young Dutch Muslim authoresses. The essays were taken from two essay anthologies: ‘Hou vast aan je dromen: Essays van jonge moslims over burgerschap’, published in 2001 by the Dutch Steering Committee on Islam and Citizenship, and ‘Jonge moslims, andere geluiden: Voorbij traditie en teleurstelling’, published in 2006 by the Dutch Forum Institute for Multicultural Development. Each of these two organisations set up an essay contest for young Dutch Muslims and published a book containing the contest entries that scored the highest with their respective juries. The themes of the two contests were similar: the relationship between Islam/Muslims on the one hand and the Netherlands/Dutch citizenship on the other.
With regard to methodology, a combined theoretical approach of intersectionality and standpoint epistemology is employed. For intersectionality the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw, Gloria Wekker, Helma Lutz, and Nina Lykke is used. The use of standpoint epistemology is based on the writings of Sandra Harding on standpoint theory, Donna Haraway’s work on situated knowledges, and Nira Yuval-Davis’ interpretation of transversalism. The literary analysis itself is carried out using Norman Fairclough’s method of ‘critical language study’, or CLS.
The main question of this thesis is: ‘How do young Dutch Muslim women represent themselves in their essays?’ In order to answer this question the analysis is organised according to two sub questions. The first stems from an intersectional approach and asks how the young Muslim authoresses position themselves on intersections of religion, gender, ethnicity, age/generation, and class. The second is based on a standpoint epistemology perspective: What knowledge about their identifications do these authoresses produce in their essays?||