Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Molnar, Andrea K.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Post 9/11 American Muslim women are stereotyped as victims of their patriarchal religion and as perpetrators of terror. These conditions led to the discrimination of American Muslim women which requires them to continuously strategize and negotiate their identity. This thesis examined DeKalb, Illinois Muslim women’s agency to strategize and negotiate their identity in lager American society. In this study, fifteen Muslim women from three different categories were interviewed: American-born citizens, naturalized citizens, and immigrants. This study found that Muslim women’s various backgrounds (country of origin, education, socio-economic status, and immigration status) affected their strategy and agency to negotiate and re-affirm their identity. This thesis shows that American Muslim women display a new way to practice Islam, retaining their religious beliefs and cultural identities while offering an alternative discourse to American society about Muslim women through the practice of conviviality and an alternative interpretation of Islam.


87 pages




Northern Illinois University

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