Salafism in Urban Contexts: A Case Study on the Urban Integration of Salafi Groups in North Rhine-Westphalia

Short Description

The project raises the question whether how and to what degree salafi groups are integrated in urban space and urban communities. Its design is that of an explorative case study enrolled into the squad of urban ethnographers who had been inspired by the Chicago School and adding some aspects of the Islamic Studies. The project draws on an approach that links classical Symbolic Interactionism with the Symbolic Boundary-Approach.

The ethnographic field studies shall be performed in North Rhine-Westphalian cities homing different Salafi Groups that not only interact with other Muslim groups but also with members and institutions of the urban community not showing any Islam-related background. A special focus of the data collection lies on routine and conflict interactions at social boundaries, boundary crossings and on formal as well as informal Checkpoints in daily local life. Against this background the project aims at shedding light on intergroup boundaries and on the respective interaction driven changes, shifts, openings and closings within the local context. Building on this we hope to get answers to the question in what way lived Salafism is affected by social changes of neighborhood life and urban life in Germany and in what way lived Salafism itself contributes to social change of lived diversity in urban spaces.

The project applies participant observations, interviews with experts, narrative-biographical interviews, focus group interviews and problem centered interviews.


Prof. Dr. Andreas Zick
Dr. Jörg Hüttermann

Funded by
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)