British Pakistani women's use of the ‘religion versus culture’ contrast: a critical analysis

Bolognani, Marta and Mellor, Jody (2012) British Pakistani women's use of the ‘religion versus culture’ contrast: a critical analysis. Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 13 (2). pp. 211-226. ISSN 1475-5610

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Abstract

This paper's aim is to highlight a series of problems related to data collection, analysis and ethics of research on British Pakistani women and their marriage choices. The authors will argue that much of the literature on this topic has stopped one step short of critically engaging with the ubiquitous and thus meaningful ‘religion versus culture’ paradigm. This leads both to a sort of acceptance of the existence, but especially of the effectiveness, of this paradigm, and to a missed opportunity in analysing the crucial part that this paradigm plays for women at a cognitive level. The authors' focus is on ‘religion versus culture’ as an important historically contextual social fact, but argue that further research needs to be carried out to properly evaluate the effectiveness of such paradigm on courses of action relating to marriage (and implicitly to education and other lifestyle choices). The authors recommend that interviewee recruitment should include women before and after marriage, and that the researchers should approach the ethics of their data interpretation differently if they want to go beyond the sanitised narratives that are, according to this paper, crucially influenced by the role Muslim women feel they play in giving Islam a positive public image, the postcolonial context and the generational tensions among British Pakistanis.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: religion versus culture; British Pakistani women; Muslim women; Islam and women rights; marriage choice
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP001 Islam
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ1101 Women. Feminism
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Depositing User: Marta Bolognani
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2012 09:58
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2012 09:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38877
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