1st Edition

Muslims, Identity, and American Politics

By Brian Calfano Copyright 2018
    200 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Calfano provides an examination of the pressures faced by Muslims, often considered political and social outsiders in western nations, especially in the United States. Identity is a complex concept, especially when considering the role that group attachments play in affecting how one sees her/his role in the political environment of their country of residence. Perhaps the greatest tension in this regard is felt by those who are often considered outsiders in their home country, despite significant ties to their nation.

    Though citizens and second generation residents in many cases, American Muslims face a combination of suspicion, government scrutiny, and social segregation in the United States, despite significant education and economic assimilation in America. The crux of the investigation advanced here centres on how group influence, emotions, and religious interpretation contribute to the political orientation and behaviour of a national sample of Muslims living in the American context.

    A compelling explanation as to how members of an ostracized political group marshal the motivation to push through suspicion to become fully engaged political actors, this book has wide relevance and will be of interest to scholars researching Muslims and political participation across the fields of political science, history, sociology, and religion.

    Chapter 1 - Introduction

    Chapter 2 - One of Us?

    Chapter 3 - Group Perceptions among Muslims

    Chapter 4 - Surveying Muslim Identity

    Chapter 5 - Identity Salience, Political Participation, and Muslim Young Adults

    Chapter 6 - Emotion, Identity, and National Attachment

    Chapter 7 - Looking Ahead: Muslims in Trump’s America


    Brian Calfano is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Journalism at the University of Cincinnati. Calfano's fields of specialization are religion and politics, political behaviour, and media and politics. Research interests also include Middle East democratization and human rights in the Organization of the Islamic Conference.


    "Calfano’s study provides a thoughtful and nuanced picture of Muslim experiences in the United States. This is a timely contribution to our understanding of Muslim identity formation, with important implications for political attitudes and behavior. An essential read for scholars in the field as well as everyday Americans looking for insight on this understudied community." - Rachel Gillum, Stanford University, USA.

    "Much of our understanding about Islam in the US has come from elites and the media. Calfano’s well-written and conceptually sophisticated volume provides us with a better understanding of the consequences that the present-day backlash is having on Muslim Americans. Calfano has produced a masterful and must-read book for religion and politics scholars by refocusing the lens on the experiences of Muslim Americans and providing an examination of their responses to the sociopolitical pressures they face today." - Nazita Lajevardi, Michigan State University, USA