Negotiating faith on the coventry road: British-Muslim youth identities in the 'third space'

Chris Shannahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article, which arises from three years of ethnographic fieldwork, explores the negotiation of faith, place and social identity amongst British-Muslim youth in one inner-city community in Birmingham, UK. Narratives drawn from fieldwork are brought into a critical dialogue with theoretical discourse about the nature of culture, the built urban environment, youth identities and contextualised religious discourse within the British-Muslim community. The article suggests that a dynamic definition of culture as an open and ongoing process of meaning-making and the utilisation of 'third space' thinking are needed to adequately explore the multifaceted contextual religious discourse of British-Muslim youth. The article seeks to answer a key question: how do urban British-Muslim youth negotiate faith and meaning in a society that increasingly questions their presence and what might their experience have to teach wider society about the impact that contemporary urbanism has on the articulation of personal, political and religious identity? © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-257
Number of pages21
JournalCulture and religion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • contextual religious discourse
  • Muslim youth
  • third space
  • urban space


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