When sharing religion is not enough: A transregional perspective on marriage, piety, and the intersecting scales of identity transmission among female converts to Islam in mixed unions

Mossière, Géraldine (2022, juin)

Social Compass

Volume 69/ Issue 3 | 17 p.


Drawing on fieldwork conducted among converts to Islam (France and Quebec), this article focuses on women who are in unions with partners of Muslim background. As these women commit to make a union based on shared religious identity, they face the double challenge of learning to be a Muslim and of transmitting identity to the children. Addressing these issues opens a space of ongoing negotiations within the couple (sometimes involving the in-laws) over the definition of the ‘authentic’ Islam, and the articulation between religion and ethnicity. These conjugal debates create new areas of mixedness through women’s own identification processes as Muslim and French or Quebecois. This negotiation is framed by the social and cultural capital each partner is granted in their specific context of living, including experiences of having minority status, as well as by the specific representations each partner draws on the ethnicity and space of origin of the other. Keywords conversion, identification, Islam, mixed unions, representation, transmission