Articles

Negotiating two worlds: An exploration of Moroccan Belgian youths’ lived experience of gender identity

Authors
  • Hanne Dewinter (Department of Social Work & Social Pedagogy, Ghent University)
  • Hanne Dehertog (Arktos, Leuven)
  • Lucia De Haene (Parenting and Special Education Research Unit, KU Leuven)

Abstract

This article explores the lived experiences of Muslim youth in Belgium regarding their gender identity. Based on a qualitative study with focus groups among Moroccan Belgian youths, we examine the usefulness of studying gender identity as a dynamic construct. Gender identity is not only shaped within and through different contexts, the state of Moroccan Belgian youths negotiating between two worlds also highly complicates this construction. Gender acts as a mobilising force to legitimate borders and to differentiate from another ethnic or religious group that does not share the same practices or perceptions. Finally, processes of stereotyping, which are mainly gender-based, evoke a diversity of reactions among these youths. The aim of this article is to contribute to an understanding of the construction of gender identity as a continuous process that acquires meaning in relation to minority/majority relations in society. Directions for future research are suggested.

How to Cite:

Dewinter, H. & Dehertog, H. & De Haene, L., (2021) “Negotiating two worlds: An exploration of Moroccan Belgian youths’ lived experience of gender identity”, DiGeSt - Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 8(2), p.40-56. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/digest.v8i2.17368

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Published on
20 Oct 2021
Peer Reviewed