Institute for Social Research: Publications
Mohammed Atta and I
Identification, discrimination and the formation of sleepers
(Mohammed Atta and I)
European Journal Of Cultural Studies 6 (4):529â€“548, 2003.
This article uses the popular thought figure of the sleeper as a methodological tool to get a new angle on the cultural analysis of majority minorityâ€“relations in Europe. I do so on the basis of an autobiographical essay written by Nazneen Khan, who considers the theoretical possibility that she too might have become a terrorist. The analysis focuses on descent and religion, as specific sources of identification and belonging, and on how and where, in present day identification, sleeper identities might be identified. The analysis reveals that the definition of the sleeper in the mass media is not the only one possible. This figure can be reconfigured more dynamically and processually as someone who has experienced repeated rejection within structured relations of power influenced by ideologies focusing on blood and religion. In addition, I argue that populist ideas in Europe can themselves be regarded as (racist) sleepers.