ENCOUNTERS - Muslim-Jewish encounter, diversity & distance in urban Europe: Religion, culture and social model
Funded by the Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences, this joint research project studies intercultural, interethnic and interreligious encounters as exemplified by Jews and Muslims in three countries, France, Germany and the UK. They have in common hosting the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in Europe, overwhelmingly urban, concentrated in the same cities, and often in the same neighborhoods. Yet, the three countries have different migration and colonial histories, different models of integration and majority-minority relations, creating ideal conditions for a comparative study of the possibilities of living together in an urban environment. A commonly received idea is that antagonism has been growing between the two groups, relating to the Middle East conflict and the rise of Islamist terror. However, there is ethnographic evidence that everyday relations in urban neighborhoods are more complex. Commercial exchange, cultural traffic within music and arts scenes, spontaneous and institutionalized interfaith initiatives, banal contact in the street, are among the many forms these relations can take and that this project intends to explore.
The fieldwork will be grounded in two city-regions in each country, with diverse populations, including significant Jewish and Muslim minorities (Paris/Strasbourg, London,/Manchester, Berlin/Frankfurt). The methodology will mix qualitative and quantitative approaches of the sites, combining intensive participative observation in areas of potential Muslim-Jewish encounter, survey-based analysis of attitudes and discourse analysis of community media. The Paris/suburbs case will be coordinated by Nonna Mayer (Sciences Po, CEE), Elodie Druez (Sciences Po, CEE) and Vincent Tiberj (CED, Sciences Po Bordeaux).
The team brings together sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, urbanists and migration policy experts across six leading European research universities:
- Ben Gidley, Birkbeck University of London, Department of Psychosocial Studies
- Anne-Sophie Lamine, Social Science Faculty, University of Strasbourg
- Steven Vertovec, Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung multireligiöser und multiethnischer Gesellschaften, Göttinge
Other co- investigators
- Yulia Egorova, Durham University, Centre for the Study of Jewish Culture, Society and Politics
- Sami Everett as Research Coordinator, CRASSH, University of Cambridge.
- Matthias Koenig, Heidelberg University, Max-Weber-Institute for Sociology
- Nonna Mayer , Sciences Po,CEE, CNRS
- Elodie Druez, Sciences Po, CEE
- Vincent Tiberj, Centre Emile Durkheim, Sciences Po Bordeaux.