Project Description

The purpose of the Second Generation Project is two-fold. First, it will seek to identify patterns of incorporation, identity formation, racial and religious exclusion, socio-economic opportunity, and communitarian investments in the lives of second generation Muslims adults in Metro Detroit. This project borrows from the framework produced by Kasinitz, Mollenkopf, and Waters (2006; 2010) which studied at second generation New Yorkers. This survey asked detailed questions about the parental generation, ethnic identity, schooling, professional opportunities and choices, marriage and family choices, religious and cultural participation, civic and political engagement, and experiences of racialization and discrimination. We will ask a similar set of questions for the sake of comparability, but our project is also unique in its focus on mosques and Muslim parochial schools as potential contributors to the acculturation and economic mobility of immigrant children. We ask if a high level of religious participation during the formative years of the second generation’s upbringing also helped shape the social position of Muslim American adults as they work, raise families of their own, and contribute to the religious and civic landscape of Michigan and beyond. We will focus on the Muslim American adult children of at least one immigrant parent between the ages of 22-52.

This study seeks to determine the extent to which the participation of immigrant households in mosques (and religious schools) has had an impact on the religiosity and/or social mobility of second generation Muslim Americans. We will ask about the extent of the religious participation of our respondent’s families during their youth, the extent of their participation, and seek causal relationships between this involvement and the respondent’s current degree of religious practice and identification, their economic and social well-being, and the extent of their acculturation to American society.

Project Team

Sally Howell, PhD, Associate Professor of History and Arab American Studies, UM-Dearborn

Ivy Forsythe-Brown, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, UM-Dearborn

Rebecca Karam, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center


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