MIDDLE-CLASS BRITISH-PAKISTANI WOMEN IN MANCHESTER

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Noreen Mirza

Abstract

My ethnographic research concerned middle class British Pakistani women in Manchester. Although a great number of studies has be done on working–class Pakistanis in Britain, I have come across very few studies on socially mobile British-Pakistanis. Literature on working-class Pakistanis in Britain have dealt with issues of marginalisation, prejudice and discrimination. The aim of my research is to bring to light the experiences of prejudice and discrimination from the perspective of middle-class British-Pakistanis. Not only does my research look into ways in which middle-class British-Pakistanis exploit their social class position to deal with prejudice and discrimination, it also highlights their contributions in creating a positive image of British-Pakistanis and Muslims. In addition to the experiences of discrimination, the focus of my study is on ways of belonging, in particular the salience of class in shaping identity and belonging. I look at the relationships and identities that create a positive self-image among the middle-class British-Pakistanis in my study. Belonging among my participants was enacted through the performance of different identities that earned them power and status among friends and family. It was through a position of empowerment that they felt recognition and acceptance among a group they wanted to affiliate with. I explore how aspirations and interests are governed by social class position, and how socio-economic mobility defines the meaning and experience of being a British-Pakistani. Thus, the experiences and interests of middle-class women in my study is different from that of the studies done on working-class British-Pakistanis. My ethnographic research concerned middle class British Pakistani women in Manchester. Although a great number of studies has be done on working–class Pakistanis in Britain, I have come across very few studies on socially mobile British-Pakistanis. Literature on working-class Pakistanis in Britain have dealt with issues of marginalisation, prejudice and discrimination. The aim of my research is to bring to light the experiences of prejudice and discrimination from the perspective of middle-class British-Pakistanis. Not only does my research look into ways in which middle-class British-Pakistanis exploit their social class position to deal with prejudice and discrimination, it also highlights their contributions in creating a positive image of British-Pakistanis and Muslims. In addition to the experiences of discrimination, the focus of my study is on ways of belonging, in particular the salience of class in shaping identity and belonging. I look at the relationships and identities that create a positive self-image among the middle-class British-Pakistanis in my study. Belonging among my participants was enacted through the performance of different identities that earned them power and status among friends and family. It was through a position of empowerment that they felt recognition and acceptance among a group they wanted to affiliate with. I explore how aspirations and interests are governed by social class position, and how socio-economic mobility defines the meaning and experience of being a British-Pakistani. Thus, the experiences and interests of middle-class women in my study is different from that of the studies done on working-class British-Pakistanis.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31 Dec 2017