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LUCIS What's New Lecture

Muslim women’s reflections on wellbeing, freedom and citizenship in the context of Dutch integration discourse

Thursday 7 February 2019
Free to visit
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

In this lecture, Fernande Pool will share some recent findings from her postdoctoral research project entitled “Social Justice under secular liberalism: Muslims’ everyday ethics and human development in India and the Netherlands”. The research aims to understand how secularism and liberalism impact on Muslims’ ethics, and in turn where Muslims’ ethics are compatible with, jar with, demonstrate shortcomings or can inspire refinements for liberal human development paradigms or policy with regards to immigration and religious minorities.

The research draws on ethnographic fieldwork with Muslim women with a Pakistani immigrant background in The Netherlands, including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with 25 selected women. It will focus on the one hand on the values implicit in Dutch immigration and integration policy, and on the other hand on the values underlying Pakistani-background Muslim women’s perspectives on wellbeing, justice, freedom, and security. It is demonstrated that whereas the older, first generation immigrants are relatively comfortable within a multicultural paradigm, second generation immigrants, although better integrated and reflecting some dominant values implicit in integration discourse, face paradoxically more challenges. This appears partly due to the ambiguously secular and racialised Dutch policy and political discourse that continues to exclude even well-integrated cultural and religious ‘others’ from full moral citizenship, and partly due to growing levels of ‘responsibilisation’ and polarisation in society. 

Please note: there will be no drinks after this leture. 

About Fernande Pool

Fernande Pool is currently a Marie Sklodowska Curie LEaDing Fellow at the Institute of Social Studies (Erasmus University Rotterdam) in The Hague, where she critically explores development ethics, religion, and alternative visions of liberalism, wellbeing and justice. She does this by placing theoretical inquiries in anthropology, philosophy, and development studies into dialogue with her ethnographic research with Muslims in the Netherlands and India. Her PhD thesis, completed in March 2016 at the LSE Department of Anthropology, explored the ethical life of reformist Muslims in West Bengal, India, and destabilised hegemonic conceptualisations of religion and secularism.

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