Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Ann Miles

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This ethnographic thesis is an empirically rich, critical analysis of the singlehood of Muslim young adults. Based on interviews with 21 single Muslims aged 18-36, and participant observation of Muslim spaces, I demonstrate that while Islam and Muslim communities present "ideal" behaviors, Islam is not alone. Instead, like identity, the singlehood of American Muslims is created and recreated through dialectical relationships with several cultural "wombs" including religion, popular culture, family, and ethnicity. As Muslim young adults encounter these often contradictory ideologies, they accept and reject parts, and negotiate their identities, religion and desires - all while struggling to maintain a socially acceptable status both within, and outside the Muslim community. For many, that process is difficult. In view of that, I focus on eight reasons singlehood is complex. The inspiration for this research comes from my own experiences as a single American Muslim woman, as well as the experiences of male and female Muslim friends.


Thesis made open access per email from author.