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‘What does being Welsh mean to me?’ Sub-national identity in the everyday lives of Swansea Muslims

Whittaker, Geraint Rhys 2016. ‘What does being Welsh mean to me?’ Sub-national identity in the everyday lives of Swansea Muslims. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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An important feature of understanding what the nation and sub-state nation means in an era of cultural and religious diversity is to analyse the manner in which people from different backgrounds are influencing conceptions of national and sub-national identity, and how they are positioning themselves within national and sub-national narratives. A question that must therefore be asked is not only how are ethnic, cultural and religious minorities making claims to national and sub-national identity, but who is it that can be included within the re-imagining of the nation and sub-state nation as populations become increasingly diverse? This thesis examines this phenomenon by exploring how, why, when and where Welsh Muslims in Swansea identify with Wales and Welsh identity, and how such claims of belonging are articulated within the everyday places and social spaces of Muslims’ daily lives. By using a Mixed Methodological Approach which combines Ethnographic Observation, Focus Groups and Interviews, it investigates when and where Welsh identity becomes salient in Welsh Muslims’ everyday lives, to reveal that being Welsh is important to how they frame their identities, and is articulated in numerous ways, at different times in different places. By doing so, it will show that when discussing Muslim identities, they should not be discussed in isolation from the other identities which make up an individual, as monolithic depictions of Muslim identities ignore the multiple relationships that Muslims have with other aspects of their identities. By exploring how Welsh Muslims’ relationships with Wales and Welsh identity develop, it will also show that the ethnic-civic dichotomy used to describe the relevance of nations and national identity needs to be understood alongside more plural understandings of the nation, which are more flexible and can better deal with the demographic complexities of increasingly diverse societies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Welsh
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 August 2016
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2017 09:47

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