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British-Born Pakistani and Bangladeshi Young Men: Exploring Unstable Concepts of Muslim, Islamophobia and Racialization.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chris Haywood


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Much recent academic work on making sense of the changing public profile of the Muslim community in Britain operates within an explanatory framework that assumes a shift from ethnicity to religion and an accompanying shift from racialization to Islamophobia. A key limitation of this work, often grounded in media representations, is that it tends to be disconnected from contemporary lived social relations. In response, this paper critically engages with these debates, drawing upon qualitative research that explores a changing cultural condition that is inhabited by British born, working-class Pakistani and Bangladeshi young men. It is argued that this emergent cultural condition cannot conceptually be contained within a singular category of religion as the contours of the young men’s cultural condition are embedded within a range of intensified and ambivalent rapidly shifting local, national and international geo-political processes. Therefore in contrast to recent theorizing and research on Muslim communities and identities, the young men in this study critically engage with the contextually-based local meanings of Muslim, Islamophobia and racialization to secure complex masculine subjectivities. Alongside this, the article highlights that young men recognize that Islamophobia, displacing a notion of racialization, is a danger for their community because of the attendant invisibility of the current impact of social class within conditions of socio-economic austerity, which for them is a central element of their social and cultural exclusions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): MacanGhaill M, Haywood C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Critical Sociology

Year: 2014

Volume: 41

Issue: 1

Pages: 97-114

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 15/04/2014

Acceptance date: 15/04/2012

ISSN (print): 0896-9205

ISSN (electronic): 1569-1632

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/0896920513518947


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