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Janson, Marloes (2016) '‘How, for God’s sake, can I be a good Muslim?' Gambian Youth in Search of a Moral Lifestyle.' Ethnography, 17 (1). pp. 22-46.

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By analysing the case study of a young Muslim man's conversion within and between different expressions of Islam in the Gambia, this article challenges common understandings of conversion that see it as a transition from one form of religious belief or identity to another, as well as theories of Islam's place in Africa that distinguish between ‘local’ traditions and ‘world’ religions. The ethnographic case study illustrates that, for Gambian youth, conversion is not a unilinear path but entails the continuous making of moral negotiations and a preparedness to reflect on the ambiguity of selfhood – an inevitable result of the making of these negotiations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Published online before in print March 16, 2015. Published in hardcopy in March, 2016.
Keywords: conversion, Islamic reform, Tablighi Jama‘at, Salafiyya, Pentecostalism, morality, youth, West Africa, the Gambia
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 14661381
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2015. This is the accepted manuscript of an article published by SAGE in Ethnography, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 11:30
Related URLs: http://eth.sage ... content/17/1/22

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