A longitudinal, intersectional study of migrant women, this book examines the lives of first generation Bangladeshi migrants to the UK, considering the dynamic relationship between people and place. Shedding new light on a migrant population about which little is known, the author explores the experiences of women who left rural homes to live in London, speaking no English, with no experience of local customs and having to adjust to what would now be dramatically shrunken family sizes, within which they would act as bearers of culture and tradition. Based on research spanning a decade Family, Citizenship and Islam draws on qualitative interviews with over 100 women and examines questions of identity, belonging, citizenship and Britishness, religion, ageing, care, and the family. With attention to the fluidity of the experiences of the first generation of migration women, the book offers an alternative to much ethnographic research, which often offers only a 'snapshot' of a particular minority or migrant group as fixed and preserved in time. As such, Family, Citizenship and Islam will appeal to scholars of sociology, geography and anthropology with interests in migration and diaspora, citizenship, gender, religion, family and the lifecourse, and the ways in which these different aspects of a person's life come together to shape lived experience.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Conceptual framework; Methodology; Belonging; Language, citizenship and Britishness; The family; Care and welfare; Religion; Conclusion
Nilufar Ahmed is Senior Research Officer at the Department of Public Health, Policy, and Social Sciences, Swansea University, UK.
'This timely book speaks to topical debates around Muslim minority integration. In a rare longitudinal study, Ahmed explores how Bangladeshi migrant women negotiate their everyday lives in Britain. Drawing on rich qualitative research, the book provides important and sensitive insights into how gendered understandings of identity, citizenship and belonging have shaped people and places over a decade of geopolitical change.’ Deborah Phillips, University of Oxford, UK ’An impressive contribution to the growing academic literature concerning British Bangladeshi society. Through her nuanced analysis of the everyday lives of first-generation women in Tower Hamlets, Nilufar Ahmed explores across both time and space to challenge stereotypes and simplistic assumptions, particularly about ethnicity, generation, gender and religion. A highly readable and engaging study.’— John Eade, University of Roehampton, UK
'This study draws on research conducted in 2000-2002 on the lives of first-generation Bangladeshi women, followed up by interviews ten years later with twenty, randomly drawn from the original cohort of 100. The author provides an account rich in its citations of academic research as well as an awareness of the socio-cultural changes taking place in the East End of London, particularly Tower Hamlets. It offers ‘a new and different perspective on Bangladeshis in the UK by moving away from predominantly health-based research on the older generation and exploring more subjective experiences of identity and relationship with and use of space.’— M A Sherif, www.salaam.co.uk