What is Islamophobia, and How Much Is There? - Theorizing and Measuring an Emerging Comparative Concept

20 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 17 Aug 2010

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Islamophobia is an emerging comparative concept in the social sciences. Yet most writers have an impressionistic understanding of the term at best. There is no widely-accepted, usable definition of Islamophobia that permits systematic comparative and causal analysis. In this essay, I analyze how the term Islamophobia has been deployed in public and scholarly debates in order to reveal how these discussions have taken place on multiple registers. I then draw on theoretical work on concept formation to offer a systematic definition of Islamophobia that is useful for social scientific purposes. I discuss the types of indicators that are most appropriate for measuring Islamophobia as well as the benefits of concept development for enabling comparative and causal analysis.

Keywords: Islam, Muslims, Europe, concept development, racism

Suggested Citation

Bleich, Erik, What is Islamophobia, and How Much Is There? - Theorizing and Measuring an Emerging Comparative Concept (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1644065

Erik Bleich (Contact Author)

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

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