Religious superdiversity and intersectionality on the field | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



In contemporary Western-European cities, religious diversity and street football are both characteristics of urban life. Based on ten months of ethnographic research amongst young Muslim residents of the Schilderswijk, an urban neighbourhood in the Netherlands, this article discusses how to study religious diversity in relation to girls’ football in urban spaces. It critically discusses how religion in intersectionality scholarship and in feminist scholarship on religion and gender is narrowly conceptualised as a form of racialised oppression or as piousness. I argue that these conceptualisations fail to capture the urban experiences and practices of ‘religious but not so religious’ young residents of the Schilderswijk who play football together. I conceptualise these young residents as ‘space invaders’ in urban football playgrounds and show that they have diverse experiences and strategies of playing football, which include but also exceed Islam, Islamophobia, and racism. I argue that their practices are, in addition to an intersectionality analysis, best understood through the concept of religious superdiversity (Becci, Burchardt, & Giorda, 2017), which provides a perspective that combines both religious and non-religious practices in urban life. Religious superdiversity emphasises the lived religious and secular experiences of young people in urban spaces beyond, on the one hand, piousness, and, on the other hand, racialised oppression and Islamophobia, and therefore provides an innovative approach to religious diversity in urban spaces.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): everyday Islam; gender; intersectionality; religious women’s agency; sports; urban space
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