Fabricating Difference - Steven W Ramey

Fabricating Difference - Steven W Ramey

6. Clashing Allegiances: The Practicality of Constructing National Identity

Fabricating Difference - Steven W Ramey

Andie Alexander [+-]
The Open University
Andie Alexander is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at The Open University. Her research focuses on identity construction, boundary formation, difference-making, experience rhetoric, and conceptions of the individual as a way to examine how post-9/11 discourses of inclusivity and pluralism implicitly work as a form of governance and subject-making which construct and constrain the liberal Muslim subject. Andie is co-editor (with Jason W. M. Ellsworth) of Fabricating Authenticity (Equinox, 2023) and is Managing Editor of The Religious Studies Project


Constructing difference serves a practical role in the construction of identities. This essay explores the ways in which Islam, not only as a practice but also as an identity for Muslims, is constructed and subsequently regarded as antagonistic to a conception of an “American way of life.” In exploring how Islam is established as different and marginal in a normatively Christian America, this essay argues that these fabrications of difference are one of the ways in which the United States is attempting to construct its own national identity—one that includes certain practices while excluding others. With this approach, this essay regards “difference” not as a descriptive act but rather as a construction that is rooted in certain socio-political agendas and employed as a way to establish and maintain normative ideas of national identity in the United States.

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Alexander, Andie. 6. Clashing Allegiances: The Practicality of Constructing National Identity. Fabricating Difference. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 69-76 Jul 2017. ISBN 9781781794876. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=31449. Date accessed: 06 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.31449. Jul 2017

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