Project

Back to overview

Shaping the Boundaries of National Belonging: Muslim Women in Switzerland across German-speaking Media Platforms

Applicant Aeschbach Mirjam
Number 181937
Funding scheme Doc.CH
Research institution Religionswissenschaftliches Seminar Theologische Fakultät Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Religious studies, Theology
Start/End 01.09.2018 - 31.07.2021
Approved amount 206'360.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Religious studies, Theology
Communication sciences

Keywords (6)

Nation; Religion; Islam; Media; Digital; Gender

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Nationen basieren auf Ein- und Aussschlussmechanismen, die in öffentlichen Mediendiskursen ausgehandelt werden. Im heutigen Europa sind Referenzen zu Religion und spezifisch zum Islam bei der Differenzierung nationaler Zugehörigkeit zentral. In der Deutsch-Schweiz nehmen muslimische Frauen aktiv an öffentlichen Debatten zum Verhältnis der Schweizer Mehrheitsgesellschaft und der muslimischen Minderheit teil.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Bisherige Analysen öffentlicher Debatten zum Islam in Europa haben gezeigt, dass Fragen der Geschlechtergleichstellung im Vordergrund stehen und muslimische Frauen häufig Bilder kollektiver Differenz markieren. Die Analyse der aktiven Beitrage muslimischer Diskursakteurinnen wird Einblicke in ihre konkreten Reaktionen zu Bildern nationaler Zugehörigkeit liefern und beleuchten, wie diese aufgegriffen, angeeignet und potentiell in Frage gestellt werden. Zuerst werden hierfür die in der Deutsch-Schweiz aktiven, muslimischen Diskursakteurinnen identifiziert und ihre Beiträge über digitale und nicht-digitale Medienplattformen hinweg verfolgt. Die anschließende Dokumentenanalyse untersucht die Positionierungen dieser Frauen und ihre Deutungsmuster bezüglich nationaler Zugehörigkeit.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Die medienübergreifende Herangehensweise dieses Projektes erlaubt es, der zunehmenden Digitalisierung gerecht zu werden und in institutionalisierten Massenmedien potentiell marginalisierte Akteurinnen zu identifizieren. Der Fokus auf muslimische Frauen in der Medienöffentlichkeit leistet zudem einen Beitrag zum Verständnis gegenwärtiger gesellschaftlicher Ein- und Ausschlussmechanismen in der Schweiz.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 14.08.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Colorado, Boulder United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Department of Religious Studies/UZH Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Inter-University Gender Studies Doctoral Program/ Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, UZH/ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
NWSA Annual Conference Protest, Justice, and Transnational Organizing Poster “Secular Muslims” in the German-Speaking World: Gendered Connotations of a Strategic Counter-Positionality 14.11.2019 San Francisco, CA, United States of America Aeschbach Mirjam;
Women in German Conference Poster Muslim Women in Swiss-German Media Discourse: Visible Representations of Intersectional Social Identities 17.10.2019 Sewannee, TN, United States of America Aeschbach Mirjam;
German Studies Association 43rd Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Between “Swissness” and “Muslimness”: Racialized Differences in Swiss-German Media Debates surrounding Muslim Women 03.10.2019 Portland, OR, United States of America Aeschbach Mirjam;
EASR Religion – Continuations and Disruptions Talk given at a conference Meaning as Multi-modal and Hyperlinked: A Qualitative Frame Analysis Approach to Muslim Women on Social Media 25.06.2019 Tartu, Estonia Aeschbach Mirjam;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Komplexitat abbilden – Medien, Wissenschaft und die Darstellung von Islam & Nahem Osten Workshop 14.02.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Aeschbach Mirjam;


Abstract

The project is conceptualized as a qualitative media analysis of how national belonging is shaped by Muslim women in the German-speaking part of Switzerland across digital and non-digital media platforms. Research on current Western European contexts suggests that religion, and specifically Islam, is a key issue when acceptable measures of difference within a particular nation are publicly negotiated. In Switzerland, debates on Islam have characterized many political endeavours on questions about the extent to which Islam is socially acceptable, for instance the initiative to ban minarets or the more recent venture to ban veiling. Such issues have also figured prominently in media outputs, as for instance in the NZZ Folio “Muslims in Switzerland: How much Islam can the country tolerate?” (2016). Muslim women actively take part in these debates on the relationship between Islam and Switzerland and negotiate their own positionalities and the way they are entangled with notions of national belonging. With issues of gender equality figuring prominently as normative demarcation strategies and Muslim women frequently marking images of “self” and “other” in public debates, analysing the contributions of Muslim women sheds light on how such representations are taken up, re-appropriated, and potentially challenged.This project addresses two central questions: (1) Which Muslim women take part in the current public media discourse on Islam in the German-speaking part of Switzerland? (2) How do these women shape images of “self” and “other” and thereby patterns of national belonging across media platforms? Methodically, the research is based on Altheide’s Qualitative Media Analysis (2013) and approaches the research questions in two ways: (a) Muslim women who actively figure as discourse actors in media outputs are identified and (b) their discourse contributions are tracked across digital, non-digital, and social media platforms. In the subsequent qualitative document analysis, the intersectional subject positions of these Muslim women, the frames and patterns of interpretation with regard to national belonging, and the content-related differences between communication platforms are explored. The first-time focus on Muslim women across media will further result in a differentiated picture of their specific use of different media platforms and will shed light on the active contribution of Muslim women to images of national belonging in Switzerland.
-