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dc.contributor.authorBenussi, Matteo
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-24T14:22:48Z
dc.date.available2018-05-24T14:22:48Z
dc.date.issued2018-07-20
dc.date.submitted2018-02-22
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/276156
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is concerned with the ways in which Muslims in Russia’s Povolzhye region define, and strive towards, spiritual and material well-being. It explores how pious subjectivities are cultivated in a secular and often politically hostile environment. In addition, it deals with Povolzhye Muslims’s pursuit of worldly success in the context of social change brought about by Russia’s transition to a market economy. Povolzhye is a prosperous, multi-ethnic and multi-confessional historical region, home to Russia’s second largest ethnic group, the Volga Tatars. Although the Tatars have been Sunni Muslims for centuries, the post-Soviet emergence of cosmopolitan, scripturalist piety trends – which I collectively refer to as Povolzhye’s ‘halal movement’ – has raised unprecedented concerns and disputes about the meaning of Muslimness and the place of Muslims in Russian society. Scripturalist virtue-ethics projects have been underrepresented within the expanding body of anthropological literature concerning Islam in the former USSR, and particularly in the Russian Federation. With its explicit ethnographic focus on Povolzhye’s halal movement, this work aims at filling this gap. The halal movement is characterised by its hypermodern transnational imagery as well as significant discursive overlapping with the realms of business and economy. The pursuit of a virtuous existence is particularly appealing to those ascending sectors of society that most successfully engage with Russia’s post-socialist free-market environment, while the idiom of piety both communicates and dissimulates novel forms of stratification and exclusion. This project brings together anthropological theories of ethical self-cultivation with approaches that focus on power, social change, and political economy. In order to explore the political life of the halal movement vis-à-vis both state institutions and the market, I employ Giorgio Agamben’s notions of ‘form-of-life’ and ‘rule/law’, which shed light on the relationship between power and virtue in original ways. In addition, particular attention is given to the social distribution of virtue and the role it plays in reproducing distinction, status, and a ‘capitalist spirit’.
dc.description.sponsorshipMy doctoral work was supported by CHESS (fees only), the William Wyse Fund, the Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, and the Ling Roth Fund.
dc.language.isoen
dc.rightsAll rights reserved
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserveden
dc.rights.urihttps://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved/en
dc.subjectIslam in Russia
dc.subjecthalal
dc.subjectIslamic reform
dc.subjectIslam and post-socialism
dc.subjectForm of life
dc.subjectEthics
dc.subjectAgamben
dc.subjectPost-Soviet social change
dc.subjectRussia's politcal economy
dc.subjectPovolzhye
dc.subjectIdel-Ural
dc.subjectmiddle class
dc.subjectcivil society in Russia
dc.titleAspiring Muslims in Russia: Form-of-Life and Political Ecoonomy of Virtue in Povolzhye's Halal Movement
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoral
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.publisher.departmentSocial Anthropology
dc.date.updated2018-05-24T13:00:38Z
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.23439
dc.contributor.orcidBenussi, Matteo [0000-0001-9166-036X]
dc.publisher.collegeClare
dc.type.qualificationtitlePhD in Social Anthropology
cam.supervisorHumphrey, Caroline
cam.thesis.fundingfalse
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2400-01-01


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