Social identity enactment in a pandemic: Scottish Muslims’ experiences of restricted access to communal spaces

Nick Hopkins (Lead / Corresponding author), Caoimhe Ryan, Jennie Portice, Vera Maren Straßburger, Amrita Ahluwalia-McMeddes, Anna Dobai, Sam Pehrson, Stephen Reicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The comprehensive analysis of social identity cannot simply focus on individuals' cognitive self-definition. Rather it should also theorize the social conditions that affect individuals' opportunities to act in terms of those self-definitions. We argue that the social distancing interventions associated with Covid-19 provide an opportunity to explore the significance of otherwise taken-for-granted social factors which routinely support and sustain individuals' identity enactments. Using qualitative data gathered with 20 members of the Scottish Muslim community (19 diary entries and 20 post-diary interviews), we explore their experiences of restricted access to community-relevant social spaces (e.g., mosques and prayer rooms). Our analysis shows that while these regulations could result in new opportunities for Muslims' religious identity enactments, they also impeded their abilities to act in terms of their religious identification. Addressing such impediments, we develop our understanding of the contextual factors that shape individuals' abilities to enact identity-defining norms and values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1157
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date30 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • shared identity
  • identity enactment
  • social distancing
  • Covid-19
  • Muslims
  • mosques
  • communal space


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