Not entitled to talk: (mis)recognition, inequality and social activism of young Muslims

Pilkington, Hilary and Acik, Necla ORCID logoORCID: (2020) Not entitled to talk: (mis)recognition, inequality and social activism of young Muslims. Sociology, 54 (1) . pp. 181-198. ISSN 0038-0385 [Article] (doi:10.1177/0038038519867630)

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This article considers the relationship between (mis)recognition, inequality and social activism through the lens of young Muslims’ response to their positioning as ‘suspect communities’. It draws on qualitative empirical research to suggest that the institutionalisation of misrecognition, including through the preventative (‘Prevent’) arm of UK counter-terrorism strategy, may mobilise young Muslims to resist ‘suspect’ status and make claims to the right to equal esteem. This forms part of the motivation towards social activism that mitigates the harm inflicted by misrecognition. However, the particular historical and cultural form of the institutionalisation of misrecognition, which renders ‘preventing Prevent’ a priority for young Muslims, may compound their status subordination. Drawing on critiques of the politics of recognition, and contextualising findings in debates on racism, anti-Muslim attitudes and societal securitisation, the article concludes that fighting misrecognition with recognition politics mis-places the role of power in subject formation and constrains young Muslims’ political agency.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 28570
Notes on copyright: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
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Depositing User: Necla Acik
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 09:39
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:34

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