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Title:The Transnational Search for Muslim Identity: Sierra Leoneans in America's Capital
Author(s):D'Alisera, JoAnn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gottlieb, Alma
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This dissertation examines the way in which ethnically diverse transmigrants from Sierra Leone utilize Islam as a common bond to fashion a sense of community, how their interaction with a broader Muslim community shapes a sense of belonging and alienation within the American context, and how they and their children, many of whom are American-born, struggle with and accommodate to different senses of what it means to be Muslims, Africans, and Americans of African descent in America. On a broader level, this work deals with the way in which a universal religion is being transformed on American soil by a multiplicity of transmigrant communities, such that a unique American Islam is emerging. The Sierra Leoneans who took part in this study are at once participating in this transformation and being shaped by it. They have created for themselves a sense of community rooted in their memories of an African homeland, in ethnicity, and in religion. How these multiple identities intersect in a transnational world, where identity is increasingly shaped by the ambiguities of borders between homeland and diaspora, is at the core of my work.
Issue Date:1997
Description:366 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737086
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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