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Beliefs, choices, and constraints: understanding and explaining the economic inactivity of British Muslim women

Khan, Asma 2018. Beliefs, choices, and constraints: understanding and explaining the economic inactivity of British Muslim women. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Muslim women in Britain are the only religious group of women more likely to be economically inactive than active, this has been the case since the onset of large-scale migration of Muslim women to Britain from the 1960s. This thesis aims to examine and explain the persistent presence of Muslim women in the looking after home category of economic inactivity, over time and generation. A new system of state benefit payments is being rolled out across the UK; Universal Credit is likely to lead to changes in household economies and the ways in which Muslim women engage with the labour market. Qualitative research into economic inactivity has remained remarkably static over the years. This contrasts with the contemporary and vibrant field of quantitative studies of ethnic and religious inequalities in the labour market. This study applies a systematic mixed methods research approach, where both qualitative and quantitative paradigms are given equal weight at all stages. The quantitative component of the study involved multivariate analysis of the EMBES 2010 dataset. This analysis fed into the design of a qualitative phase of research which was undertaken over a period of nine months in an area of high Pakistani density. The study of labour market outcomes for Muslim women is made complex because of the layering of disadvantage and discrimination based on migrant status, gender, and social class as well as race, ethnicity and religion. This thesis attempts to engage with this complexity to describe and understand the interplay of structural and socio-cultural factors that lead to high levels of economic inactivity in the looking after home category. Evidence is found for both inter and intragenerational shifts and changes. Recently-arrived first generation women are the most marginalised within families, co-ethnic communities and labour markets – both in the mainstream and in the enclave.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Funders: Jameel Scholarship Programme
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 January 2019
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2019 15:33
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/117872

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