Social Identity and Distinction in Higher Education: Muslim Students

From 2013 to 2014, I worked with two fellow graduate students on an ethnography of the Muslim community at an elite university. The study included observations at countless campus events and interviews with 24 Muslim students there. In the first paper based on this data, I explore how Muslim students construct valued identities on campus during a period of intense sociocultural and political scrutiny and prejudice. In a second paper, I also interrogate how discourses at the university that claim to promote openness to historically marginalized groups like Muslims in fact maintain the symbolic difference of those groups for the benefit of traditionally dominant groups.