Go, and you will return: Locating meanings in young Muslims’ lived experience at schools in Christchurch, New Zealand via an adapted IPA method influenced by Ramadanian philosophies (IPA-R).
Thesis DisciplineSocial Work
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis explored the lived experience of Muslim students in schools in Christchurch, New Zealand; how they made sense of their experience and the meanings they placed on it, and their coping strategies. Its central argument is that young Western Muslims engage in a highly personalized version of everyday ijtihad in managing their social affairs within their everyday encounters of a secularised environment. For this group of participants, their acts of sensemaking helped them construct meaning frameworks in building their social identity. As the findings of this study suggest, this identity is constantly shaped and re-shaped along dimensions of time and space. It is a result of individual awakenings that find synergy within their own critical reasoning, a form of everyday ijtihad. The use of an adapted IPA method influenced by Ramadanian philosophies (IPA-R) was necessary to enable the exploration of the participants’ Muslim consciousness while the small sample size made it possible to study the personal experiences of a group of young Muslims from an idiographic approach. A limitation of this study stemmed from the constraints of member-checking that was substituted with the peer-review process. This study conceptualized that understanding young Muslims’ sensemaking and meaning-making is part of inclusive practice and within the broader context, suggests that the IPA-R approach is a solution to the ‘textbook Muslims’ approach.