Strategies of British-Pakistani Muslim women : 'subject' and 'agency' reconsidered through (an) analysis of marriage, divorce and everyday life
Malik, Aisha Anees
University of Cambridge
Department of Land Economy
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Malik, A. A. (2010). Strategies of British-Pakistani Muslim women : 'subject' and 'agency' reconsidered through (an) analysis of marriage, divorce and everyday life (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11690
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This dissertation explores the experiences of British Muslim women of Pakistani ethnic origin living in Slough in the south-east of England in matters related to maITiage, divorce and everyday life by looking into their private and social worlds in a diasporic space. Pakistanis in Britain have seen a shift in their identity from being cast as south Asians to Muslims. Women belonging to this immigrant group are increasingly being seen as 'Muslim' with an automatic inference of their being oppressed victims. When these women exhibit agency dispelling the victim image, it is read within the sole perspective of religiosity framing them only as 'Muslim women' and ignoring other facets of their being. Their experiences as British citizens and members of an ethnic minority community, the rootedness of their regional affiliations in Pakistan, class, age and their location at intersections of historical and geographical movements are subsumed by an essentialized understanding of their being Muslim. An investigation into the strategies of British-Pakistani Muslim women in Slough negotiating issues of space, clothing, language, education, employment, religiosity, ethnicity, identity, and most importantly, marriage and divorce calls for a reconsideration of notions of subject and agency. Drawing on feminist interpretations, the thesis recasts these women as 'strategizing-agentic' subjects who exhibit agency drawing from diverse even oppositional traditions. Ethnographic research methods are used to generate qualitative data that details the experiences of British-Pakistani Muslim women in Slough.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11690