Politics is no longer an elitist activity. A large part of the whole political system comprises of the Youth who are nowadays more aware while some are disillusioned with the current state and are upbeat to make themselves heard.

Professor Daniel DeHanas, a lecturer at King’s College London on politics and religion in his new book London Youth, Religion, and Politics: Engagement and Activism from Brixton to Brick Lane, has delved deep into the issue of identity, religion, and politics in two particular communities- Muslim and Jamaican youths.

Religion influencing politics

Mr. DeHanas interviewed relevant people from both the communities as a part of gathering real time information on the subject. One of the biggest question which the book tries to answer is that how does religion influence political participation of the youth.

The book also dealt with the fact as to how both the above communities identify themselves and in turn how that affects their political participation. The conference was held at London Metropolitan University on the 13th of December with students and teachers attending the venue.

One of the pivotal aspects of the book deals with is the term ‘Elastic Orthodoxy’, which means the way a community uses their identity in flexible or in other words ‘elastic’ ways to reach their goal.

In this case, the Bengali Muslim community who identified ‘Muslim’, their religion as their first identity rather than ‘British’. On the other hand, the Jamaican youth’s identity seemed to change with situations and more hybrid.

Fake news?

Another aspect which the book deals with is the fact as to how news and information affects the decision making of communities.

Both the Muslim and Jamaican communities have been analysed in terms of what brands they have boycotted and for what reason. Many have cited reasons without any rational reasoning behind the decision.

The role of identity in politics is a discourse which has been highly debated upon for a long time and this book tries to lend an interesting perspective into the notion.