'Izzat' and the shaping of the lives of young Asians in Britain in the 21st century

Soni, Sangeeta (2013). 'Izzat' and the shaping of the lives of young Asians in Britain in the 21st century. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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“Izzat” is a phenomenon which confers status and respect, is fluid enough to shift from the individual to the collective domain, and which through its relationship with “sharam” (shame) commands conformity to acceptable norms of behaviour in Asian communities.

A chronological approach in this thesis to the mining of research on Asian communities in Britain since the 1960s gradually revealed an emerging discourse on the concept and found that it was considered significant and yet given limited focus.

Through empirical research this study uniquely places the concept at its centre. The research involved 25 in-depth interviews with young British Asian men and women who were also Youth and Community Workers, aged between 18 and 35 and explored how “izzat” and the equally important concept of “sharam” shapes their lives.

This research identified the multi-layered and nuanced nature of “izzat” and discovered how young Asians learn about it through immersion in family and community-life. It discovered how it can be maintained and/or enhanced by members of Asian communities bygenerally ‘Conforming to Acceptable Norms’, and in line with established notions of ‘achieved’ and ‘ascribed’status, through ‘Achievement’ and by virtue of ‘Inherited Factors’. It explored how “izzat” can be lost through attracting “sharam”, and examined the close relationship between “izzat”, “sharam” and gender. It also demonstrated how both “izzat” and “sharam” are significant in curbing behaviour through the process of reflected “izzat” and “sharam” which in turn influence individual and familial reputations in Asian communities.

The conclusion to the thesis also includes inferences drawn from the empirical research regarding implications for Youth and Community Practice.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4078


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