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Pia Karlsson Minganti

About me

I am working as Assistant Professor and researcher of ethnology at the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.


As a teacher I am involved in the education in ethnology for Swedish as well as international students, and I am also the director of our “Bachelor Program in Diversity Studies”. My teaching and research is influenced by my interest in transnational migration, religious pluralism and cultural transformations of identity and gender relations – both in the past and in the present.


Current project: Religious divorce in a secular legal context: Family diversity and the role of Muslim congregations in marriage dissolution. With Mosa Sayed, Associate Professor of private international law. Funded by the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation.

I am currently member of the scientific advisory board of the Center for Multidisciplinary Research on Religion and Society (CRS, Uppsala University), and previously for the multidisciplinary research programme The Impact of Religion: Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy (IMPACT), and specifically the thematic research area “Family, law and society”.

Since the mid-1990s and I am studying the everyday lives of Muslims in Sweden, particularly those engaged in Muslim congregations and organizations. Initially, I studied mosque-building projects and problematized the relationship between minorities and majorities, freedom of religion, politics of cultural heritage and the contestations of public space.

My doctoral dissertation Muslima. Islamic Revival and Young Women’s Negotiations on Gender in Contemporary Sweden (2007, 2014) highlights the creation of an ‘Islamic’ identity in a Swedish context. The focus is on female members of Sunni-dominated youth associations and the analysis deals with intersections of gender, religion, ‘race’/ethnicity and generation. The study is informed by feminist and postcolonial theories, and by researchers such as Saba Mahmood.

My research furthermore casts light on the (re)construction of the category Muslim, and the issues of diversity and citizenship, through the exploration of young Muslims’ everyday life and civic participation. Arenas of study are for instance: public pools, Islamic fashion, women’s shelters, practice of humor and media representations. (See list of publications to the right and below).

A previous research project "Contested Marriages: Young Muslims in Transnational Contexts" gives perspective on young organized Muslims’ experiences in different European locations, above all Sweden and Italy. The project particularly focused on negotiations surrounding the definition of an Islamic marriage, visions of one’s own future marriage and spousal choice. The project was supported by the Swedish Research Council and included a postdoctoral position at the Department of Politics, Institutions and History at the University of Bologna. There I collaborated with the EU’s FP7 research project Gender, Migration and Intercultural Interactions in the Mediterranean and South East Europe (GeMIC) under the guidance of Professor Sandro Mezzadra.


2020. Framing Religious Criticism in a Secular Cultural and Legal Order: Subsidies to Muslim Youth Organizations. In: A Constructive Critique of Religion. Encounters between Christianity, Islam, and Non-religion in Secular Societies. Lövheim, Mia & Stenmark, Mikael (eds). London: Bloomsbury Academics.

2019. Religion och samhällsengagemang bland unga svenskar. I: Unga och religion. Troende, ointresserade eller neutrala? Klingenberg, Maria & Lövheim, Mia (red). Malmö: Gleerups. Sid 165-183 (tillsammans med Maria Klingenberg och Emin Poljarevic).

2018. Review: Reina Lewis “Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures”. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 21(4): 521-523.

2018. Religion as a resource or as a source of exclusion? The case of Muslim women’s shelters. In: Religion and welfare in Europe: Gendered and minority perspectives.  Molokotos-Liederma, Lina, Bäckström, Anders and Davie, Grace (eds). Bristol: Policy Press. Pp. 207-233.

2016. Introducing “Fourth Space”. Young Muslims Negotiating Marriage in Europe. Ethnologia Europaea, 46(1): 40-57.

2016. Muslim Intimacies. Challenges for Individuals and Families in Global Contexts. Ethnologia Europaea, 46(1): 5-9. (With Stark, Laura and Fingerroos, Outi).

2016. Politics of Visibility among Young Muslim Women. In: New Dimensions of Diversity in Nordic Culture and Society. Björklund, Jenny and Lindqvist, Ursula (eds). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pp. 41-60. (With Leila-Karin Österlind).

2015. Muslim Women Managing Women’s Shelters: Somaya, the Muslimwoman and Religion as Resource. NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 23(2): 93-108. Also published online 21 August, 2014. DOI: 10.1080/08038740.2014.935744

2014. Unga muslimer och humor som norm. I: Skratt som fastnar. Kulturella perspektiv på skratt och humor. Jönsson, Lars-Eric & Nilsson, Fredrik. Sid. 39-59. Lund: Lund studies in arts and cultural science, Lunds universitet.

2014. Islamic Identity as Third Space. Muslim Women Negotiating Subjectivity in Sweden. In: Negotiating Identity in Scandinavia: Women, Migration and the Diaspora. Akman, Haci (ed.). New York/Oxford: Berghahn.

2013. Review of Renata Pepicelli, Il velo nell’islam. Storia, politica, estetica [The Veil in Islam. History, Politics, Aesthetics]. Religion & Gender, 3(1): 132-135.

2013. Burqinis, Bikinis and Bodies. Encounters in Public Pools in Italy and Sweden. In: Islamic Fashion and Anti-Fashion. New Perspectives from Europe and America. Tarlo, Emma and Moors, Annelies (eds). London: Bloomsbury. Pp. 33-54.

2013. Female Islamic Leadership in Sweden. openDemocracy 50.50, 31 January,

2011 (2016). Challenging From Within. Youth Associations and Female Leadership in Swedish Mosques. In: Women, Leadership and Mosques. Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority. Bano, Masooda and Kalmbach, Hilary (eds). Leiden: Brill. Sid. 371-391.

2012. Ibland ger moskén skydd till slagna kvinnor när samhället svikit. SVT Debatt, 16 maj.

2010. Islamic Revival and Young Women's Negotiations on Gender and Racism. Collins-Mayo, Sylvia & Dandelion, Pink (eds). Religion and Youth. Farnham: Ashgate.

2010. Matrimoni contestati: Giovani musulmani in contesti transnazionali. Mondi Migranti, 11(2): .

2008. Becoming a 'Practising' Muslim. Reflections on Gender, Racism and Religious Identity Among Women in a Swedish Muslim Youth Organisation. Elore 1/2008.

2007 (2014). Muslima. Islamisk väckelse och unga kvinnors förhandlingar om genus i det samtida Sverige. Stockholm: Carlsson bokförlag. (Diss)

2004. Mosques in Sweden. On Identity and Spatial Belonging. Creating Diversities. Folklore, Religion and the Politics of Heritage. Siikala, Anna-Leena, Klein, Barbro & Mathisen, Stein R. (eds). Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.

1999. Fayzas revertering. Kulturella Perspektiv, 3.

1999. Islam tar plats. Moskén och dess funktion. Blågul islam? Muslimer i Sverige. Svanberg, Ingvar & Westerlund, David (red). Nora: Nya Doxa.

1998. Politik och romantik. Muslimsk 'kvinnlighet' förkroppsligad i slöjan. Behag och begär. Kulturella perspektiv på kroppens, intimitetens och sexualitetens transformationer. Gerholm, Lena (red). Stockholm: Carlsson bokförlag.

1997. Religionsfrihet i Sverige. Om möjligheten att leva som troende. Lund: Studentlitteratur. (med Ingvar Svanberg)

1995. Moskéer i Sverige. En religionsetnologisk studie av intolerans och administrativ vanmakt. Uppsala: Svenska kyrkans forskningsråd. (med Ingvar Svanberg)


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Introducing "Fourth Space"

    2016. Pia Karlsson Minganti. Ethnologia Europaea 46 (1), 40-57


    Based on interviews with young persons in two national Muslim youth organizations in Europe, this article examines how young Muslims negotiate between the cultural customs of their societiesof origin, their everyday experiences in Europe, and the global Muslim public sphere. In seekinga universal “true” core of Islam, these young persons create their own version of Islam, a “fourthspace” in which they reinterpret the authoritative source texts of Islam in light of personal diasporicexperiences in Europe. This reinterpretation becomes particularly pertinent in the context of planningfor future marriage, where they jointly construct new understandings of Islam to argue for inter-ethnic marriages and later age at marriage, to argue against coercion in arranged marriages, tooppose polygyny and to portray the stigmatization of divorce as counter to the true spirit of Islam.

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Show all publications by Pia Karlsson Minganti at Stockholm University