Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Navigating the Cultural Divide: Islam, Gender, and the Integration of Somali Immigrants

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Sociology of Islam

This article explores gender notions and practices among American-Somalis in Columbus, Ohio. Theorists have disputed whether original or new culture should influence immigrants’ evolving identities. Interviews with thirty-eight immigrants revealed a more decisive third mode of discourse that seems to transcend the two cultural ends—namely, Islam. Participants invoke Islam to justify adopting new gender arrangements demanded by new circumstances. In other cases they cite Islam to legitimize severing ties with customs perceived as unsavory in the original culture.This middle way between homogenizing assimilation and compartmentalizing pluralism is based on economic pressures and on rediscovering/rereading Islamic texts, emancipated from older interpretations. Doing so, participants distance themselves from aspects of the original culture while reframing cherished elements of the new culture as “Islamic”. For them, Islam facilitates transcultural integration, enabling hybrid identities and behavioral patterns to coexist, and creating dynamic, novel, and genuinely cross-civilizational representations of “modern” community and agency.

Affiliations: 1: Former Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Denison University, PhD, Ohio State University 5275 Brandy Oaks LN, Columbus, Ohio 43220,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Qur’an (translated) .
2. Bukhari and Muslim (Collection of the Prophet Muhammed’s authentic sayings, hadith): .
3. Abdullahi Mohamed Diriye. 2001. Culture and Customs of Somalia . Westport, ct: Greenwood.
4. Ghuddah Abu,, Fattah Abdul. 1991. “"Islamic Manners."” . Accessed April 2014.
5. Ahmed Sadia Musse,. 2004. "“Traditions of Marriage and the Household.”" Pp. 51–59 in Gardner, and El Bushra, Somalia: The Untold Story .
6. Akhtar Mohammad, ed. 2007. Muslim Family in a Dilemma: Quest for a Western Identity . Lanham, md: University Press of America, Inc.
7. Alba Richard, and Nee Victor. 2003. Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration . Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press.
8. Alba Richard,, and Nee Victor,. 2005. “"Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration".” Pp. 235–276 in Kivisto, Incorporating Diversity .
9. Alexander Jeffrey,. 2005. “"Theorizing the ‘Modes of Incorporation’: Assimilation, Hyphenation, and Multiculturalism as Varieties of Civil Participation".” Pp. 320–336 in Kivisto, Incorporating Diversity .
10. al Faruqi Lamya. (1991). Women, Muslim society and Islam . Indianapolis: American Trust Publications.
11. al Faruqi Isma’il R., and al Faruqi Louis Lamya. (1986) The Cultural Atlas of Islam . Macmillan Publishing Company.
12. al Faruqi Maysam J., (2000) “"Women’s Self-Identity in the Qur’an and Islamic Law".” In Webb Gisela (ed.) Windows of Faith: Muslim Women Scholar-Activists in North America . New York: Syracuse University Press.
13. al-Huraibi Nahla (2014). Islam, Gender and Migrant Integration: The Case of Somali Immigrant Families . lfb Scholarly Publishing llc.
14. al-Huraibi Nahla, & Konradi Amanda. (2012) “"Second-Generation Yemeni-American Women at the turn of the Century: Between Individual Aspirations and Communal Commitments".” (Humanity and Society . Vol. Vol 36(2).
15. Al Tahiri Hamdi. 1977. [قصة الصومال] The Story of Somalia . Cairo.
16. Assal Munzoul A.M., 2006. "“Somalis and Sudanese in Norway—Religion, Ethnicity/Clan and Politics in the Diaspora.”" Pp. 165–199 in Diasporas within and without Africa , edited by Leif Manger, and Munzoul A.M. Assal. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.
17. Bendixsen Synnove, 2010. "“Islam as a New Urban Identity? Young Female Muslims Creating a Religious Youth Culture in Berlin". In Gender, Religion, and Migration: Pathways of Integration, edited by Glenda Bonifacio and Vivienne Angeles. United Kingdom: Lexington Books.
18. Bryden Matt, and Steiner Martina I.. 1998. Somalia Between Peace and War: Somali Women on the Eve of the 21st Century: African Women for Peace Series . Nairobi: unifem. .
19. Cadge Wendy,, and Ecklund Elaine Howard. 2007. “"Immigration and Religion".” Annual Review of Sociology Vol. Vol 33 (2007):359379.
20. Castles Stephen,. 2002. “"Migration."” in A Companion of Racial and Ethnic Studies , edited by David Goldberg, and John Solomos. Oxford: Blackwell.
21. Chafic Wafa,. 2010. “"On Being Part of the Whole: Positioning the Values of Muslim Men in Sydney".” In Gender, Religion, and Migration: Pathways of Integration , edited by Glenda Bonifacio, and Vivienne Angeles. United Kingdom: Lexington Books.
22. Collet Bruce. 2007. “"Islam, National Identity and Public Secondary Education: Perspectives from the Somali Diaspora in Toronto, Canada".” Race, Ethnicity and Education Vol 10:131153.
23. Community Research Partners. 2005. "“Immigrants and Refugees: A Profile of the Population, Resources and Services.”" Franklin County. Online at .
24. Declich Francesca,. 1995. “"Identity, Dance and Islam among People with Bantu Origins in Riverine Areas of Somalia."” Pp. 191–222 in Ahmed, Invention of Somalia .Duval, Soroya. 1998. “New veils and new voices: Islamist women’s groups in Egypt.” In Karin Ask and Marit Tjomsland eds. Women and Islamization: Contemporary dimensions of discourse on gender relations. Oxford; New York: Berg.
25. Ebaugh H.R.,, and Chafetz J.S., eds. 2000. Religion and the New Immigrants: Continuities and Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations . Walnut Creek, ca: AltaMira.
26. Esposito John,. 2004. “"Forward."” in Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square: Hope, Fears and Aspirations by Zahid Bukhari,, Sulayman Nyang,, and Mumtaz Ahmed., Rowman Altamira.
27. Ferenchik Mark. 2009. “"Numbers Count when Estimating Somalis".” Columbus Dispatch , May 21, 2009.
28. Foley Michael W., and Hoge Dean R. 2007. Religion and the New Immigrant: How Faith Communities For Our NeWest Citizens . Oxford University Press.
29. Fossey Ellie, . 2002. “"Understanding and Evaluating Qualitative Research".” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Vol 36:717732.
30. Glazer Nathan, and Moynihan Daniel. 1970. Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City . Cambridge, ma: mit Press.
31. Gordon Milton M. 1964. Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins . New York: Oxford University Press.
32. Haddad Yvonne Yazbeck,, and Esposito John. 1998. Islam, Gender, and Social Change . New York: Oxford University Press.
33. Haddad Yvonne Y.,, and Smith Jane,. 2003. “"Adjusting the Tie that Binds: Challenges Facing Muslim Women in America".” In Haifaa Jawad, and Tansin Benn (eds.) Muslim Women in the United Kingdom and Beyond: Experiences and Images . Boston: Brill.
34. Haddad Yvonne,. 2009. "“The Shaping of Arab and Muslim Identity in the United States". In Immigration and Religion in America: Comparative and Historical Perspectives , edited by Richard Alba,, Albert Raboteau, and Josh DeWind. New York: New York Unviersity Press.
35. Heitritter Dianne Lynn. 1999. “"Meanings of Family Strength Voiced by Somali Immigrants: Reaching an Inductive Understanding"” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, Duluth, mn.
36. Hirsi Jibril. 2009. “"The Somali Community Is a Promising Economic Powerhouse in Ohio Source".” SomaliCAN Outreach Newsletter (August).
37. Hondagneu-Sotelo Pierrette. 1992. “"Overcoming Patriarchal Constraints: The Reconstruction of Gender Regulations Among Mexican Immigrant Women and Men".” Gender and Society Vol 6(3):393415.
38. Hondagneu-Sotelo Pierrette. 1994. Gendered Transitions: Mexican Experiences of Immigration . Berkeley: University of California Press.
39. Hondagneu-Sotelo Pierrette, ed. 2003. Gender and u.s. Immigration: Contemporary Trends . Berkeley: University of California Press.
40. Ibrahim Rhoda M,. 2004. "“Women’s Role in the Pastoral Economy.”" Pp. 24–50 in Gardner, and El Bushra, Somalia: The Untold Story .
41. Center Immigration Policy. 2012. "“New Americans in Ohio: The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Bucky State”". Accessed 5/2016.
42. Inglehart Ronald, and Norris Pippa. 2009. "Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations. hks Faculty Research Working Paper Series rwp09-007", John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Accessed 5/2016.
43. Jawad Haifaa,, and Benn Tansin. 2003. Muslim Women in the United Kingdom and Beyond: Experiences and Images . Boston: Brill.
44. Kapteijns Lidwien,. 1994. “"Women and the Crisis of Communal Identity: The Cultural Construction of Gender in Somali History."” in The Somali Challenge: From Catastrophe to Renewal? edited by Samatar. Ahmed I. Boulder: L. Rienner.
45. Kapteijns Lidwien,, and Arman Abukar. 2004. “"Educating Immigrant Youth in the United States: An Exploration of the Somali Case".” Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies Vol 7:1843.
46. Kivisto Peter,. 2005. “"The Revival of Assimilation in Historical Perspective".” Pp. 3–29 in Kivisto, Incorporating Diversity. Rethinking Assimilation in a Multicultural Age . London: Paradigm Publishers.
47. Kurien Prema,. 2003. “"Gendered Ethnicity: Creating a Hindu Indian Identity in the United States."” Pp. 151–173 in Hondagneu-Sotelo, Gender and u.s. Immigration .
48. LaBennett Oneka. 2011. She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn . New York: New York University Press.
49. Lipman-Blumen Jean, (1994). "“The Existential Bases of Power Relationships: the Gender Role Case.”" In, Radtke H. Lorraine, and Henderikus Stam (eds.) Power/Gender: Social Relations in Theory and Practice . Londan: sage Publications.
50. Lipman-Blumen Jean. (1984). Gender Roles and Power . New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
51. Malik Maleiha (ed.) 2010. Anti-Muslim Prejudice: Past and Present. London: Routledge.
52. Massey Douglas S., . 1987. Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico . Berkeley: University of California Press.
53. Mazzucato Valentina 2008. “"The Double Engagement: Transnationalism and Integration. Ghanaian Migrants’ Lives Between Ghana and The Nether lands".” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Vol 34:199216.
54. McMichael Celia. (2002). “"Everywhere is Allah’s Place: Islam and the Everyday Life of Somali Women in Melbourne, Australia."” Journal of Refugee Studies Vol. Vol 15, No. 2.
55. Modood Tariq. 2013. Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea . Polity Press.
56. Mogahed Dalia, and Pervez Fouad. 2016. "American Muslim Poll: Participation, Priorities and Facing Prejudice in the 2016 Elections". Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, March 2016 Accessed 5/2016.
57. Mukhtar Mohamed H,. 1995. "“Islam in Somali History: Fact and Fiction.”" in Ahmed, The Invention of Somalia .
58. Nguyen Tram. 2005. We are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11 . Beacon Press.
59. Park Robert,, and Burgess Ernest. 1921. Introduction to the Science of Sociology . Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
60. Peek Lori 2005. “"Becoming Muslim: The Development of a Religious Identity".” Sociology of Religion Vol 66:21542.
61. Peek Lori. 2011. Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11 . Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
62. Pessar Patricia,. 2003. “"Engendering Migration Studies: The Case of New Immigrants in the United States."” Pp. 20–42 in Hondagneu-Sotelo, Gender and u.s. Immigration .
63. Pew Research Center. 2011. "American Muslims: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism". Accessed 5/2016.
64. Portes Alejandro,. 1998. “"Divergent Destinies: Immigration, the Second Generation, and the Rise of Transnational Communities."” in Paths to Inclusion: The Integration of Migrants in the United States and Germany , edited by Peter Schuck, and Rainer Munz. New York: Berghahn Books.
65. Portes Alejandro, and Rumbaut Ruben. 2014. Immigrant America: A Portrait. University of California Press.
66. Ramadan Tariq. 2004. Western Muslims and the Future of Islam. Oxford University Press.Rauf, Hebba. 1995. الإنحياز في دراسات المرأة. “Bias in woman’s studies.” In AbdelWahab Al-Messiri ed. إشكاليات التحيز (pp. 959–964). [The problems of bias]. Cairo: International Institute for Islamic Thought.
67. Roald Anne S. 2001. Women in Islam: The Western Experience . New York: Routledge.
68. Roald Anne S. 2013. “"Majority versus Minority: ‘Governmentality’ and Muslims in Sweden".” Religions Vol 4: 116131.
69. Roble Abdi,, and Rutledge Doug. 2008. The Somali Diaspora: A Journey Away . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
70. Salvatore Armando. 2016. The Sociology of Islam: Knowledge, Power and Civility . United Kingdom: Wiley Blackwell.
71. Samatar Ahmed. 2004. “"Beginning Again: From Refugee to Citizen".” Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies Vol 4:117.
72. Schiller Nina G., and Caglar Ayse (eds.) 2011, Locating Migration: Rescaling Cities and Migrants . Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
73. Schiller Nina,, Basch Linda, and Blanc Christina, 1999. “"From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration".” in Migration and Transnational Social Spaces , edited by Ludger Pries. Aldershot: Ashgate.
74. Stern Stephen,, and Cicala John Allan, eds. 1991. Creative Ethnicity: Symbols and Strategies of Contemporary Ethnic Life . Logan, ut: Utah State University Press.
75. Straight Karen S. 2003. “"Saris, Spouses, and Software: Gender and Assimilation among South Indian High-Tech and Homemaker Immigrants in Portland, Oregon".” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, ma.
76. Udel-Lambert Miriam,. 2004. “"Born in The u.s.a."” in Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith , edited by Michael Wolfe, and Beliefnet Inc. Emmaus, pa.: Rodale Press.
77. Warner R.S.,, and J.G. Wittner, eds. 1998. Gatherings in Diaspora: Religious Communities and the New Immigration . Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
78. Zelinsky Wilbur. 2001. The Enigma of Ethnicity: Another American Dilemma . Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
79. Zelinsky Wilbur,, and Barrett Lee. 1998. “"Heterolocalism: An Alternative Model of the Sociospatial Behavior of Immigrant Ethnic Communities".” International Journal of Population Geography Vol 4:281298.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Sociology of Islam — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation