Increasing academic attention is paid to the coming of age of second and third generation Muslims in Europe. This article focuses on members of Muslim youth organisations in Sweden and Italy. It presents a new research project, which aims at investigating negotiations surrounding the planning of their future marriages - with whom, when, where and how. Such negotiations involve the youth’s notion of an ideal Islamic marriage, constructed within the framework of emerging Islamic public spheres. Further, the negotiations involve members of transnational families and ethnic networks, with various attitudes to the religion and different motivations in arranging marriages. As the young Muslims live in Europe, their marriages are also affected by attitudes and conditions in their surrounding societies. Designed as a comparative investigation, the project builds on qualitative interviews and participant observations among Muslim youth activists in two European countries: Sweden and Italy. With point of departure in young individuals’ various ideals, desires, obligations and conditions, the focal problem of marriage negotiations is intended to function as a strategic window to examine significant aspects of change. This window opens the possibility to see how people’s actions in local everyday life are connected to societal processes of globalisation and the reorganisation of gender relations.
Keywords: Muslim youth, Sweden, Italy, Marriage, Gender, Migration