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Young IslamThe New Politics of Religion in Morocco and the Arab World$
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Avi Max Spiegel

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159843

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159843.001.0001

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What Youth Want

What Youth Want

(p.87) Chapter 4 What Youth Want
Young Islam

Avi Max Spiegel

Princeton University Press

This chapter continues the discussion of the lives of young Islamists, focusing on their articulations of their hopes and goals. Analyzing the trove of data that the author uncovered from first-person narratives and life histories, transcripts, and extended participant observation, the author found that young people were looking for nothing less than a new sense of self. Their decisions are multiple, multilayered, and constantly renegotiated, but they can only be understood by making sense of the new identities that are sustained by their collective action. The author argues that Islamism is not simply ideological; it is instrumental—an avenue to a new identity, to new ways of seeing and thinking about themselves. The author dubs this the new politics of personal empowerment, where Islamist movements are reimagined as individual improvement factories: places to go not simply to become better Muslims, but to better their lot in life or the perception of that lot.

Keywords:   Islamist movements, Morocco, Islamism, personal empowerment, young people

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