Digitally defined : how Muslim millennials represent themselves online




Rahman, Fauzeya Zahera

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Islam is the second-most common religion in the world as well as the fastest-growing religion in the United States. Muslim Americans are a demographic often not studied independently of the global Muslim identity. This study aims to analyze Muslim Americans and how they represent themselves online via social media. One of the oft-touted promises of social media is the opportunity for virtually anybody to be their own publisher. Through carefully curated combinations of photographs, updates and links, anyone can represent her identity in precisely the manner in which she sees fit. This study looks closely at Muslim American college students who've grown up almost exclusively post-9/11 to see how they represent and negotiate their identities online through social media. As "digital natives," this diverse group is experienced living online and uses the broad social media landscape strategically to represent themselves on their own terms. Often they use social media to counter what they see as stereotypical narratives and misconceptions about Muslims in the mainstream media.



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