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Reading Peter Hopkins’ The Issue of Masculine Identities for British Muslims After 9/11: A Social Analysis

Mohammad, Robina (2011) Reading Peter Hopkins’ The Issue of Masculine Identities for British Muslims After 9/11: A Social Analysis. [Review]

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Abstract

Very soon after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th 2001, political geography underwent something of a terror turn e a significant refocusing of attention on the war on terror that led to some important work on geopolitics, terrorism and securitisation. Every disciplinary turn has its emphases and omissions, and perhaps inevitably this turn has constructed the events it studies in unintended ways. In particular, there have been many assertions about the impacts of the war on terror on everyday life, yet relatively little attention to empirical evidence. The World Trade Center attacks were rapidly heralded as marking a sea-change for global politics and for local social, political and spatial relations, although recent interventions have emphasised continuities as well as breaks with the past (Gregory & Pred, 2007; Hopkins & Smith, 2008). Further, the flurry of work has been dominated by analyses that centre on ‘big’ politics and the global as the most pressing issue and scale of analysis. As political geographers, we have not always paused to reflect on what is taking place at other scales, as a part of, or despite, the ‘big’ processes. I have written elsewhere (Pain, 2009, 2010) about the dangers of ascribing fear as a taken for granted effect of the war on terror and securitisation; it has been a consistent theme in political geography since 2001. Hopkins’ text is one of the first in a growing group of studies to question some of these assumptions and reorient our attention.