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Keywords:

  • citizenship;
  • identity;
  • recognition;
  • British Muslims

Abstract

Recent theorizing on citizenship encourages a broader consideration of the degree to which individuals are able to participate in social life without valued elements of their self-definition being compromised. This paper seeks to illustrate how social psychology can contribute to such an approach through providing an analysis of British Muslims' accounts of how others orient to their religious and national identities. The data are qualitative and derived from interviews with 28 Muslims. The analysis focuses on participants' accounts of how, in everyday interaction, others' assumptions about their religious identity affected their abilities to act on terms that were their own and how this constrained their abilities to speak and be heard in the public sphere. The wider significance of these data for struggles over citizenship and the recognition of identities are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.