Somali women and political participation: a case study of diaspora in Minneapolis and London

Abdulle, Habon (2018) Somali women and political participation: a case study of diaspora in Minneapolis and London. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This dissertation is research in the area of political engagement as affected by gender and immigrant status. More specifically, the dissertation examines the political participation of Somali diaspora Muslim women in Minneapolis and London. The topic is of particular significance given the increase in essentialist arguments of inner incompatibility between Islam and Western democratic and liberal culture. No research to date has empirically analyzed the political participation of Somali diaspora women in Minneapolis and London. The goal of the study was twofold: to understand similarities and differences in diaspora women from two different sites and to explore how generational differences affect the forms and levels of political participation of the diaspora woman. To capture the similarities and differences of the respondents, I employed a qualitative approach. This method allows accounts from the perspectives of the women themselves to explain the types of participation factors that hinder or engender their involvement. The empirical analysis is built on semi-structured interviews that were conducted with 40 Somali diaspora Muslim women living in Minneapolis and London. Interview themes involved topics such as discrimination at school, downward mobility, political activism both transnational and local, belonging, and identification. Furthermore, personal observations made during political demonstrations and community gatherings were included in the analysis. The study draws broadly from the following theories: postcolonialism, transnationalism, intersectionality, and social capital. The findings from the study suggest that Somali diaspora women participate in the politics of Minneapolis and London and that generation does affect type and form of political engagement. Moreover, my findings argue that immigrant women have public roles in transnational politics. This research will contribute to the literature on immigrant women and political participation by providing further evidence to explain how generation, locality and religious affiliations impact Somali immigrant women’s political activities in Minneapolis and London.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT History of Africa > DT0365 Eastern Africa > DT0401 Somalia. Somaliland and adjacent territory > DT0402.3 Ethnography > DT0402.45 Somalis in foreign countries
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6001 Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6201 Immigration > JV6347 Women immigrants
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6001 Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6403 United States > JV7012 Minnesota
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6001 Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV7590 Europe > JV7600-7695 Great Britain. England > JV7620 Immigration > JV7684 Women
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 13:10
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 16:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76489

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