Andalusi Muslims: A Bourdieuian Analysis of Ethnic Group Identity, (881-1110 C.E.)
KeywordsReligious history; Islamic culture; Social structure;
Al-Andalus; Ethnicity; Muslims; Pierre Bourdieu; Religious Conversion
Full recordShow full item record
This work examines ethnic group identities among the Muslim population in the Iberian Peninsula, or al-Andalus, between 881 and 1110 C.E. It specifically addresses three moments in Andalusi history in which ethnic conflict erupted into the political sphere: 1) The revolt of Ibn Hafsun in the late Ninth/early Tenth Century C.E. 2) The collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate in the late Tenth/early Eleventh Century C.E. 3) The arrival of the North African Almoravid dynasty in the late Eleventh/early Twelfth Century C.E. Through an investigation of each period it argues that ethnic categorization in al-Andalus has been under-theorized. The work addresses the complications of religious conversion and the resultant ramifications on religious identity, which, over time, significantly influenced deployable ethnic identities among the Muslim population. It utilizes the theoretical tools of the French social theorist Pierre Bourdieu in order to re-conceptualize the understanding of Andalusi Muslim ethnic group identities. It considers how the role of women and systems of clientage have been underappreciated in the understanding of these identities and through attention to these dynamics argues that Andalusi Muslims created an Andalusi Arab Muslim identity that increasingly unified and strengthened this social group as the political structure around it disintegrated.