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Other titles in the Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics series:

Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics)

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Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Finally, a thoughtful case study of the influence of Islamic aid organizations among the Muslim minority populations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Kristen Ghodsee describes the changes that have taken place in the practice of Islam among the Pomaks, the indigenous Slav Muslims of Bulgaria. Her book reads like a detective story of why the Muslims of one particular town turned toward the new orthodox and 'foreign' Islam of mainly Saudi-inspired imams and proselytizing aid workers. A much-needed contribution."--Tone Bringa, author of Being Muslim the Bosnian Way

"Ghodsee's patient ethnography allows her to explore in rich detail the encounter between postcommunist Bulgaria and 'orthodox' Islam. In her hands, the abstract concept of agency takes on compelling specificity, as she shows the women and men of the Rhodope region adapting Muslim beliefs and practices to their own needs, with striking implications for gender relations. This study will prove illuminating not just to area specialists but to all those seeking to understand the nature and appeal of religion in postmodern spaces."--Sonya Michel, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

"Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe provides a nuanced perspective on social and economic change in postcommunist Bulgaria and a crucial ethnographic lens onto changing religious practices and gender norms among Pomak Bulgarians."--Lara Deeb, University of California, Irvine

"Ghodsee's book contains important lessons for scholars and policymakers striving to understand how and why some Muslims in postsocialist states are adopting more orthodox lifestyles, why they are doing so at this particular juncture, and what sorts of internal and external factors informed their decision. I truly enjoyed reading Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe, and learned a great deal."--Donna A. Buchanan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Synopsis:

Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe examines how gender identities were reconfigured in a Bulgarian Muslim community following the demise of Communism and an influx of international aid from the Islamic world. Kristen Ghodsee conducted extensive ethnographic research among a small population of Pomaks, Slavic Muslims living in the remote mountains of southern Bulgaria. After Communism fell in 1989, Muslim minorities in Bulgaria sought to rediscover their faith after decades of state-imposed atheism. But instead of returning to their traditionally heterodox roots, isolated groups of Pomaks embraced a distinctly foreign type of Islam, which swept into their communities on the back of Saudi-financed international aid to Balkan Muslims, and which these Pomaks believe to be a more correct interpretation of their religion.

Ghodsee explores how gender relations among the Pomaks had to be renegotiated after the collapse of both Communism and the region's state-subsidized lead and zinc mines. She shows how mosques have replaced the mines as the primary site for jobless and underemployed men to express their masculinity, and how Muslim women have encouraged this as a way to combat alcoholism and domestic violence. Ghodsee demonstrates how women's embrace of this new form of Islam has led them to adopt more conservative family roles, and how the Pomaks' new religion remains deeply influenced by Bulgaria's Marxist-Leninist legacy, with its calls for morality, social justice, and human solidarity.

Synopsis:

"Finally, a thoughtful case study of the influence of Islamic aid organizations among the Muslim minority populations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Kristen Ghodsee describes the changes that have taken place in the practice of Islam among the Pomaks, the indigenous Slav Muslims of Bulgaria. Her book reads like a detective story of why the Muslims of one particular town turned toward the new orthodox and 'foreign' Islam of mainly Saudi-inspired imams and proselytizing aid workers. A much-needed contribution."--Tone Bringa, author of Being Muslim the Bosnian Way

"Ghodsee's patient ethnography allows her to explore in rich detail the encounter between postcommunist Bulgaria and 'orthodox' Islam. In her hands, the abstract concept of agency takes on compelling specificity, as she shows the women and men of the Rhodope region adapting Muslim beliefs and practices to their own needs, with striking implications for gender relations. This study will prove illuminating not just to area specialists but to all those seeking to understand the nature and appeal of religion in postmodern spaces."--Sonya Michel, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

"Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe provides a nuanced perspective on social and economic change in postcommunist Bulgaria and a crucial ethnographic lens onto changing religious practices and gender norms among Pomak Bulgarians."--Lara Deeb, University of California, Irvine

"Ghodsee's book contains important lessons for scholars and policymakers striving to understand how and why some Muslims in postsocialist states are adopting more orthodox lifestyles, why they are doing so at this particular juncture, and what sorts of internal and external factors informed their decision. I truly enjoyed reading Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe, and learned a great deal."--Donna A. Buchanan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

About the Author

Kristen Ghodsee is associate professor of gender and women's studies at Bowdoin College. She is the author of "The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism, and Postsocialism on the Black Sea".

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

A Note on Transliteration xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: The Changing Face of Islam in Bulgaria 1

Chapter One: Names to Be Buried With 34

Chapter Two: Men and Mines 56

Chapter Three: The Have-nots and the Have-nots 86

Chapter Four: Divide and Be Conquered 109

Chapter Five: Islamic Aid 130

Chapter Six: The Miniskirt and the Veil 159

Conclusion: Minarets after Marx 184

Appendix 205

Notes 207

Selected Bibliography 235

Index 243

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691139555
Author:
Ghodsee, Kristen Rogheh
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Ghodsee, Kristen
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Muslims - Bulgaria - Social conditions
Subject:
Muslims -- Bulgaria.
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Islamic Studies
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Sociology-Islamic Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics
Publication Date:
July 2009
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
25 halftones. 2 tables.
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 21 oz

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Europe » Eastern Europe » Bulgaria
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe

Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics) New Trade Paper
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Product details 280 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691139555 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe examines how gender identities were reconfigured in a Bulgarian Muslim community following the demise of Communism and an influx of international aid from the Islamic world. Kristen Ghodsee conducted extensive ethnographic research among a small population of Pomaks, Slavic Muslims living in the remote mountains of southern Bulgaria. After Communism fell in 1989, Muslim minorities in Bulgaria sought to rediscover their faith after decades of state-imposed atheism. But instead of returning to their traditionally heterodox roots, isolated groups of Pomaks embraced a distinctly foreign type of Islam, which swept into their communities on the back of Saudi-financed international aid to Balkan Muslims, and which these Pomaks believe to be a more correct interpretation of their religion.

Ghodsee explores how gender relations among the Pomaks had to be renegotiated after the collapse of both Communism and the region's state-subsidized lead and zinc mines. She shows how mosques have replaced the mines as the primary site for jobless and underemployed men to express their masculinity, and how Muslim women have encouraged this as a way to combat alcoholism and domestic violence. Ghodsee demonstrates how women's embrace of this new form of Islam has led them to adopt more conservative family roles, and how the Pomaks' new religion remains deeply influenced by Bulgaria's Marxist-Leninist legacy, with its calls for morality, social justice, and human solidarity.

"Synopsis" by ,

"Finally, a thoughtful case study of the influence of Islamic aid organizations among the Muslim minority populations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Kristen Ghodsee describes the changes that have taken place in the practice of Islam among the Pomaks, the indigenous Slav Muslims of Bulgaria. Her book reads like a detective story of why the Muslims of one particular town turned toward the new orthodox and 'foreign' Islam of mainly Saudi-inspired imams and proselytizing aid workers. A much-needed contribution."--Tone Bringa, author of Being Muslim the Bosnian Way

"Ghodsee's patient ethnography allows her to explore in rich detail the encounter between postcommunist Bulgaria and 'orthodox' Islam. In her hands, the abstract concept of agency takes on compelling specificity, as she shows the women and men of the Rhodope region adapting Muslim beliefs and practices to their own needs, with striking implications for gender relations. This study will prove illuminating not just to area specialists but to all those seeking to understand the nature and appeal of religion in postmodern spaces."--Sonya Michel, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

"Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe provides a nuanced perspective on social and economic change in postcommunist Bulgaria and a crucial ethnographic lens onto changing religious practices and gender norms among Pomak Bulgarians."--Lara Deeb, University of California, Irvine

"Ghodsee's book contains important lessons for scholars and policymakers striving to understand how and why some Muslims in postsocialist states are adopting more orthodox lifestyles, why they are doing so at this particular juncture, and what sorts of internal and external factors informed their decision. I truly enjoyed reading Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe, and learned a great deal."--Donna A. Buchanan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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