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We interviewed 61 Muslims in 15 focus groups from the most visible Muslim population in the United States: the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Participants shared their experiences of and responses to Islamophobia on social media and face-to-face during the 2016 US presidential election campaign and aftermath. Applying Fraser’s and Squires’ theories of counterpublics, we developed an adapted understanding of counterpublics in collapsed contexts of online and face-to-face spaces. We argue that everyday Muslim internet users in the United States are an example of a hyper differential counterpublic. They face the pressures of near ubiquitous and ever evolving Islamophobic attacks, while needing to engage with the internet for personal and professional purposes. We suggest that hyper differential counterpublics operate in collapsed contexts of mixed, unimaginable publics, switch between group and individual responses, and craft hyper situational responses to discriminations case by case.
Eckert, S., Metzger-Riftkin, J., Kolhoff, S., & O’Shay-Wallace, S. (2021). A hyper differential counterpublic: Muslim social media users and Islamophobia during the 2016 US presidential election. New Media and Society, 23(1), 78–98. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444819892283