Document Type


Publication Date



In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, anti-Muslim discourse and sentiment has become pervasive in the West. Using a collaborative ethnographic approach, we observe how participants at a Turkish Community Center (TCC) cultivate stigma management strategies against the cultural backdrop of post-9/11 anti-Muslim stereotypes. In our analysis, we use Goffman's work on stigma and critical race theory to explore the socially embedded nature of stigmatization processes for Turkish Muslims in a local community center. Our findings reveal how aspects of Turkish culture and Islam, together with a structural context that facilitates collective stigma management, allow TCC participants to effectively manage stigma and combat anti-Muslim stereotypes. Turkish participants use the practice of 'dialogue' to prioritize secular identity(ies) through cultural education, normalize the Muslim self in conversation about religion, and embody a gendered presentation of Islam and Turkish culture. While facilitating individual and collective resilience for TCC participants in the face of stigmatization and pervasive anti-Muslim sentiment, these practices also contribute to the reproduction of broader patterns of racial, cultural, and gender inequality.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography,

First Page


Last Page



Sarah Becker is also an affiliate faculty member of African and African-American Studies.