‘Islam is a Place Inside Myself’: Material and Immaterial Re-Positioning of Religion in the Living Experience of Unaccompanied Muslim Minors in Italy | Intellect Skip to content
  • ISSN: 2045-5895
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5909


European sociological studies on refugees who are hosted by national protection systems primarily focus on intervention practice and are particularly attentive to the regulatory and social conditions that produce refugees’ precariousness. Studies that consider refugee subjectivity through migratory experiences are rare. In the case of unaccompanied minors, a protection/control dynamic is widespread, as the vulnerability of young refugees is often used as a pretext for setting up institutions to contain their aspirations and their life plans. This article argues that analysis of the role of religion, i.e., the place of the religious in the experiences of unaccompanied minors, is a way to focus on the subjectivities of young refugees, thereby building an understanding of the essential issues surrounding the migration experience. The article is based on research conducted in Calabria, in southern Italy, involving unaccompanied Muslim minors hosted in reception centres. With the aim to understand the religiosity of individuals, this empirical investigation presents the migratory experience of each minor, taking into account trajectories, family ties, and ways of transitioning into adulthood. Considering how these three areas are interconnected by the young refugees’ ‘musulmanity’ (their sense of being Muslim) has made it possible to be attentive to their agency, to the meaning these minors give to their actions, and to their migratory experiences.


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  1. Elia, Anna, and Fedele, Valentina. ( 2021;), ‘ “Islam is a Place Inside Myself”: Material and Immaterial Re-Positioning of Religion in the Living Experience of Unaccompanied Muslim Minors in Italy. ’, International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 10:2, pp. 441464, doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/ijia_00051_1
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