The inter-generational construction of religious in/authenticity in the rituals of British Pakistani Muslims

Zeeshan Rafiq*, Susan Dunnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper explores the phenomenon of rituals as a contested intersection of religion and ethnicity and demonstrates how changes in religio-ethnic inclinations of various generations of immigrant communities influence the religious authenticity/inauthenticity of rituals. Its focus is the British Pakistani Muslim community in the UK where the emerging second and subsequent generations of British Muslims have started to redefine and contest their religious and ethnic identities. The findings, derived through interview and observation, reveal that religion has become the preeminent marker of identity, eclipsing that of ethnic identity. Through reciprocal socialization, the first generation are relearning an Islam from younger generations that is unfettered by cultural bonds. We illustrate how and why rituals are deemed inauthentic and abandoned. Findings demonstrate that authenticity/inauthenticity provides a potential outlet for reflexive consumers to assert agency against ethnic norms and ideological hailings that are at odds with their emergent religious identities. Accordingly, the study conceptualizes emergent inauthenticity to explain this phenomenon and delineates the role of boundary work and contamination in the authentication and rejection of rituals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalMarketing Theory
Early online date17 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • authenticity
  • critical reflexivity
  • ethnic identity
  • ethnicity
  • inauthenticity
  • intergeneration
  • religion
  • religious identity
  • rituals
  • symbolic boundaries


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