Beyond Accommodation

Everyday Narratives of Muslim Canadians

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Jennifer Selby, Amélie Barras, Lori G. Beaman
  • Vancouver, BC: 
    University of British Columbia Press
    , September
     260 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Problems – of integration, failed political participation, and requests for various kinds of accommodation – seem to dominate the social scientific research on Muslims in Canada, the United States, and Western Europe. Beyond Accommodation: Everyday Narratives of Muslim Canadiansoffers a different perspective, showing how Muslim Canadians successfully navigate and negotiate their religiosity in the more mundane moments of their everyday lives.

Drawing on interviews with Muslims in Montreal and St. John’s, Selby, Barras, and Beaman examine moments in which religiosity is worked out. They argue that the ways in which people effectively navigate and negotiate a place for religion in their daily lives have remained largely invisible. From this vantage point, the authors critique the model of reasonable accommodation, which has been lauded internationally for acknowledging and accommodating religious and cultural differences. They suggest that the model disempowers religious minorities by implicitly privileging Christianity and by placing the onus on minorities to make requests for accommodation. The interviewees show that informal negotiation occurs all the time; scholars, however, have not been paying attention.

This book advances a new model for studying the navigation and negotiation of religion in the public sphere and presents an alternative picture of how religious difference is woven into the fabric of Canadian society.

This book will be of interest to scholars and students of sociology, religious studies, and anthropology, particularly those interested in Islam, Muslim life, religious diversity, multiculturalism, immigration, and secularism, as well as scholars in political science and law who are interested in those themes.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jennifer Selby is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Amélie Barras is Associate Professor of Law & Society at York University.

Lori G. Beaman is Professor of Religion at the University of Ottawa.


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