Muslim practices in educational establishments in Germany and the social arrangements concerning these practices
This project aspires to draw a map of the differentiated regulations related to the Muslim presence in German public education institutions.
The primary aim of this project is to examine the “discursive environment” that the Muslim presence must deal with in German education institutions. In this context the researcher reviews and refines the hypothesis that the presence of Muslims is framed with and regulated by various concepts of diversity and secularity which are currently dominant in the sector. In addition, the project considers the dynamics of religion and asks: How do Muslim people bring their religiosity into play in the process of negotiating different interests? The division between a “discursive environment” and these dynamics represents a heuristic approach through which the research endeavours to reveal the connections and interactions between these elements.
The project employs qualitative methods, whereby the researcher is conducting interviews with agents involved in the processes of negotiating the Muslim presence and conducting participant observation – to the extent that this is viable. The project focuses primarily on case studies in kindergartens (public sponsorship) and public schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. Other case studies of these processes of negotiation occurring in public education institutions and media debates are considered for only as far as is necessary to adequately complete the map. The principal methods include a discourse analysis which is guided by Foucault's strategies of analysis and a sequence analysis inspired by objective hermeneutics. The researcher is aware of the tension between these methods and considers it an opportunity of productivity and creativity.