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    Locality, spatiality and contingency In East London: an interview with Michael Keith

    Gidley, Ben (2022) Locality, spatiality and contingency In East London: an interview with Michael Keith. In: Everett, S. and Gidley, Ben (eds.) Jews and Muslims in Europe: Between Discourse and Experience. Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion 13 13. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. ISBN 9789004514324. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Researching Muslim-Jewish encounters always risks the reification of the two categories “Muslim” and “Jewish”, and by foregrounding faith-based identities over other – for instance, ethnic, sectarian or class – identities. The “diversity turn” in ethnic and racial scholarship provides one way to address this, by highlighting multiple and intersecting lines of identity, but, as argued in this interview, risks erasing the dynamic role of the power geometries of racialisation and of the state in shaping emic identifications. The interview is with urban scholar Michael Keith, focusing on his research in the municipal borough of Tower Hamlets in East London, a site conventionally narrated as the point of arrival for Eastern European Jewish and later South Asian Muslim migration to the UK, and now represented in some sensationalist media and pseudo-scholarly discourses as an “Islamised” area and “no-go zone” for Jews, an example of the “lachrymose” narrative of Jewish-Muslim encounter described in the introduction above. In the interview, Keith argues that a rigorous commitment to the empirical, granular attention to the productivity of space, and openness to the fragility and contingency of all categories of identity can help us avoid such lachrymose caricatures as well as de-politicised versions of the “diversity” frame. Book synopsis: This Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion contributes cases of encounters, diversities and distances to an emerging Jewish-Muslim Studies field. The scholarly essays address both discourses about and lived experiences of minorities in contemporary French, German and UK cities. The authors explore how particular modes of governance and secularism shape individual and collective identities while new technologies re-make interfaith encounters. This volume shows that Middle Eastern and North African pasts and presents weigh on European realities, examines how the pull of Jewish intellectual history is felt by a new generation of Muslim scholars and activists, and uncovers how Orthodox communities negotiate living side by side. Book synopsis: This Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion contributes cases of encounters, diversities and distances to an emerging Jewish-Muslim Studies field. The scholarly essays address both discourses about and lived experiences of minorities in contemporary French, German and UK cities. The authors explore how particular modes of governance and secularism shape individual and collective identities while new technologies re-make interfaith encounters. This volume shows that Middle Eastern and North African pasts and presents weigh on European realities, examines how the pull of Jewish intellectual history is felt by a new generation of Muslim scholars and activists, and uncovers how Orthodox communities negotiate living side by side.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): London, East London, Tower Hamlets, urban studies, urban geography, urban ethnography, diversity turn, diaspora, Bengali diaspora, faith communities, faith-based politics, methodological groupism
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Depositing User: Ben Gidley
    Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 16:58
    Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 07:37
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/46892

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