Ali, Iram (2013) Experiences of Life in Britain: Young British Muslim Women Negotiating Their Identities. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

British-Muslims negotiating their identities in a multicultural society continues to be of academic interest. As a group, these women are often believed to be leading dual and parallel lives as a result of a clash of two conflicting cultures. The research sought to examine the lived experiences of young British-Muslim women in negotiating and constructing their national, cultural, religious and gender identities. Furthermore, the research aimed to investigate whether young British-Muslim women experience a conflict of culture in their everyday lives. The study used interview data collected with 12 young women aged 16-33 years from a variety of backgrounds and current lifestyles. The sample included young women in high school, at university, in employment, and „home-makers‟. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the data revealed three main themes of „family‟; „independence‟ and „religion‟, all of which were linked to the core theme of „identity‟ Family and the home environment is particularly influential in shaping the identity of young British-Muslim women, with parents exerting their control by imposing restrictions in an attempt to uphold traditional cultural and religious values. It was reported that Muslim families have undergone change, whereby they are adapting to British society and allowing more freedom for their daughters. This, in turn, gives rise to greater educational opportunities, socialising and freedom of choice, all of which were crucial to the women in the study. These women believed they had adapted to western society and were an integral part of it, and they prioritised their British identity. The women, although acknowledging their British status, still felt connected to their culture, religion, and traditional morals and values. The current study has highlighted the experiences of young British-Muslim women's life in Britain, providing insight into the many factors that influence their identities which need to be considered by family members, UK policy-makers and media corporations.

ialifinalthesis.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email