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Ethnic and Racial Studies

ISSN: 0141-9870 (Print) 1466-4356 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rers20

I know who I am, but who do they think I am?
Muslim perspectives on encounters with airport

Leda Blackwood , Nick Hopkins & Steve Reicher

To cite this article: Leda Blackwood , Nick Hopkins & Steve Reicher (2013) I know who I am, but
who do they think I am? Muslim perspectives on encounters with airport authorities, Ethnic and
Racial Studies, 36:6, 1090-1108, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2011.645845

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2011.645845

Published online: 30 Jan 2012.

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I know who I am, but who do they think I

am? Muslim perspectives on encounters

with airport authorities

Leda Blackwood, Nick Hopkins and Steve Reicher

(First submission January 2011; First published January 2012)

In this paper we report an analysis of individual and group interviews
with thirty-eight Scottish Muslims concerning their encounters with
authority � especially those at airports. Our analysis shows that a key
theme in interviewees’ talk of their experience in this context concerns the
denial and misrecognition of valued identities such as being British, being
respectable and being Muslim. One reason why such experiences are so
problematic concerns the denial of agency associated with being posi-
tioned in terms that are not one’s own. The implications of these findings
for understanding the dynamics of intergroup relations are discussed.

Keywords: Social identities; national identity; social exclusion; Muslims; border

surveillance; belonging.

That’s the debate, Andrew. That is absolutely the heart of the
debate. And the West’s gotta resolve this debate. Is the reason
why they’re like that because of us, or is it actually because of
them? Now, my view in the end is we should stop being in a
situation where we think we’ve caused this. We haven’t caused
this. (Tony Blair, BBC interview, 1 September, 2010)

Analysing tension

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