1st Edition

British-Bangladeshi Women in Higher Education Aspirations, Inequities and Identities

By Berenice Scandone Copyright 2023
    152 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    152 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on primary qualitative research, this book explores the experiences and identities of a group of British-born women of Bangladeshi background attending university in London through a Bourdieusian theoretical framework.

    It demonstrates the inequities that these women experience in UK higher education and employment as well as how they challenge them. This book presents stories that illuminate the diversity of views and experiences marked by dynamics of class, race, ethnicity, religion and gender. These stories reveal family projects of social mobility and discourses of aspiration, the multiple resources and constraints that influence decisions, experiences and pathways, and the mutual construction of different dimensions of identification and tensions between them.

    Through participants’ narratives, the book tackles wider questions around fair access to education and employment, social mobility and the (re)production and transformation of social inequities. The book will be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of Youth, Education, Race/Ethnicity and Migration Sociology, as well as community and education practitioners and anyone with an interest in multi-ethnic societies and young people’s histories. 

    1. Introduction

    2. Bourdieu, social change and intersectionality

    3. Career aspirations, expectations and pathways

    4. ‘It’s one of the norms of our culture’: diasporic discourses of valuing education

    5. University decision-making and experiences

    6. Social class and ethnic identification

    7. Conclusions


    Berenice Scandone is Research Director at the National Centre for Social Research in London. She is passionate about understanding and redressing social inequities, especially as they materialise in and through education. Her research interests include intersecting inequities of class, ethnicity and gender, the intergenerational integration of immigrants, education policy and the sociology of education.

    "This book is a must-read for anyone interested in British Bangladeshi women in higher education. Based on an in-depth study of 21 young women attending a wide range of higher education institutions in Britain, the book is filled with important insights. The careful research demonstrates the diversity and complexity of British Bangladeshi women’s perspectives and life experiences."

    Prof. Natasha Warikoo, Professor of Sociology at Tufts University, USA

    "This book provides a unique insight into the inequities in higher education and employment experienced by women of Bangladeshi origin. Scandone draws on a rich data set to artfully present a compelling argument about the intersectional nature of social mobility and disadvantage in the UK."

    Prof. Nicola Ingram, Director of the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

    "This is an important book adding a unique voice to literature on inequalities in higher education/employment. Scandone provides a robust critique of individualising narratives accounting for these inequalities. Supported by rich qualitative data, Scandone outlines an intersectional account of the origins of these inequalities and the mechanisms of their reproduction."

    Dr. Ciaran Burke, Associate Professor in Higher Education, University of West England