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Keeping It HalalThe Everyday Lives of Muslim American Teenage Boys$
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John O'Brien

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691197111

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691197111.001.0001

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Growing Up Muslim and American

Growing Up Muslim and American

(p.149) 6 Growing Up Muslim and American
Keeping It Halal

John O'Brien

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter argues that the story of the Legendz suggests key conditions important to the cultivation of healthy Muslim American identities. The Legendz's deep and pervasive sense of themselves as Muslims and Americans, as well as their cultivated ability to skillfully navigate the cultural rubrics of American youth culture and Islamic religiosity, are attributable to three key conditions present within their social environment. First, the adults in the Legendz's community maintained an openness and understanding that allowed the boys room to engage in some measure of American youth culture without fear of harsh punishment or communal ostracism. A second important condition seems to have been the presence of a familiar and consistent group of friends located within the same culturally complex situation. The Legendz developed a sense of their ability to manage competing sets of cultural expectations as young Muslims together. A third condition that seems to have contributed to the Legendz's ability to effectively manage their culturally contested lives was a social and physical space in which these processes could unfold and take place. An underlying theme cutting across all three of these conditions is the need for a productive overall understanding of Muslim American teenagers as being in the midst of a process of identity development, cultural negotiation, and growing up.

Keywords:   Muslim American identity, American youth culture, Islamic religiosity, cultural expectations, Muslim American teenagers, identity development, cultural negotiation, young Muslims

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