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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Neglected in their transitions: Second generation Muslim youth search for support in a context of Islamaphobia
by Zaal, Mayida, Ph.D., City University of New York, 2009, 251; 3397073
Abstract (Summary)

In the Netherlands, anxieties about immigrants, Islam, and the preservation of Dutch values have amplified fears of Muslim youth despite the public discourse of tolerance. While the burgeoning second-generation of Dutch-born Muslim youth faces discrimination in the public sphere, the labor market, and school, they search for services to support their efforts to navigate the formally tracked system of schooling. This dissertation reports on a year-long, qualitative study conducted in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Research questions focused on second-generation Muslim youth (mostly of Moroccan origin) and their experiences in youth programs created to support their educational needs.

The study employed ethnographic methods including participant observations, focus groups, in-depth interviews with youth, and interviews with adults (namely, program coordinators, mentors/instructors, community leaders, and teachers). Youth (N=25) and adult (N=25) participants were recruited from youth programs citywide. Data from different participant groups were triangulated to identify patterns, contradictions or outliers that confirmed, challenged or supported findings focused on the experiences of youth. Additionally, theories of ecological contexts and intersectionality informed the interrogation of the multiple identities embodied by immigrant-origin youth and the social and policies forces that create the conditions under which they live.

Findings indicate that two overarching discursive themes - tolerance and criminality - penetrate every experience for Muslim youth. These dominant discourses affect the structure and the content of youth programs, often interfering with the goals of youth workers. Nonetheless, there are significant benefits to those who participate in youth programs; they engage with caring adults who provide safe havens and important academic support.

Theoretically, the study's conclusions point to the accumulation of burden Muslim youth experience within a context of Islamaphobia. Moreover, results of this study highlight the need for greater support at critical junctures and transitions within the Dutch system of schooling. Findings have implications for how programs serve the educational needs of immigrant youth; specifically, the study raises questions about repressive policies and funding constraints that affect the services youth programs can offer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Michelli, Nicholas
Commitee: FIne, MIchelle, Mercado, Carmen, Suarez-Orozco, Carola
School: City University of New York
Department: Urban Education
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Islamic Studies, Social studies education
Keywords: Immigrant youth, Islamaphobia, Moroccans, Muslims, Netherlands, Second generation, Second-generation immigrants, Youth programs
Publication Number: 3397073
ISBN: 978-1-109-67251-0
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