Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Katherine Hendrix

Committee Member

Craig O Stewart

Committee Member

David G Matthews

Committee Member

Michael V Perez


This dissertation explores U.S. American Muslim mothers’ communicative experiences of identity. This investigation was undertaken by a Muslim woman researcher and insider to the research topic and founded on the premise that discussions of motherhood within the mainstream U.S. American Muslim community do not center the perspectives and lived experiences of actual mothers. Findings of this study are based on interviews with nine Muslim women who shared detailed thoughts about what Islamic scripture says about motherhood, the role of culture, rights and obligations of different family members, and details about their day-to-day lives. Data was critically analyzed, and themes were identified within the context of Hecht’s Communication Theory of Identity (CTI) framework. Overall, the analysis indicated that women’s communal identities as Muslims inform their relationships with their children, their husbands, their community, and shape their relational, enacted, and personal maternal identities. This study showcases the usefulness and flexibility of CTI in examining identity and holds significant implications for understanding the relationship between ideology, identity, and personal agency. This research also contributes to studies on motherhood and U.S. American Muslim women.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Embargoed until 6/20/2024

Available for download on Thursday, June 20, 2024