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Title: Gender, faith and locality: Muslim women in Scotland
Authors: Ali, Rahielah Noreen
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Muslim women in Scotland have been largely absent from research and literature concerning Islamic communities in Britain. Using empirical data consisting of 37 in-depth interviews and five focus groups across three research sites, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, this study analyses the everyday lives and experiences of Muslim women in Scotland. This thesis opens up the nuanced ways that Muslim women practice their faith, refashion their interpretations of Islamic dress while also directing social and domestic interactions. I bring together a series of chapters which investigate how there is a growing awareness, sensitivity and acknowledgement of political and social changes led by Muslim women. I also draw attention to the struggles of Muslim women as they endure on one hand the patriarchal cultures and strict adherences born out of authoritarian interpretations of religion and, on the other hand experiencing and managing a number of social and political misrepresentations. Furthermore, the study highlights how Muslim women formulate and practice multi-layered and multi-dimensional identities alongside their experiences of community cohesion. Simultaneously, I discuss how they consider religious racism in a world dominated by negative depictions of Muslims and Islam. Using a qualitative approach, the study reveals a number of intricate abstractions that view Muslim women under a microscopic lens, reformulating and reconstructing their social and personal identities to encourage a debate on the role of faith in everyday belonging, becoming empowered through the concept of Hijab practice and speaking about the disharmonies which exist within Muslim communities. I argue that Muslim women are becoming more ‘risk-aware’ (Haw, 2009), have created spaces of responsiveness through local-level activism and are continually contributing and working to represent themselves socially, economically and politically in a post-devolved Scotland, actions that often to undetected in wider debates and discussions about Muslim women in Britain today.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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