694.1 Contesting counter-terrorism regulation: Identity, resilience and resistance amongst young British Pakistanis

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 10:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Gabe MYTHEN , University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Over the last decade the issue of identity has been prevalent in discussions about British Muslims, with the events of 9/11 serving as a touchstone for media debates about religious, national and cultural affiliations. The 7/7 terrorist attacks in the UK led to young British Pakistanis being subjected to intense public and institutional scrutiny and wider political concerns being expressed about the failure of multiculturalism. Young British Pakistanis have thus had to negotiate and maintain their identities in an environment in which they have simultaneously been defined as a threat to national security whilst being pressurized to align with ‘core British values’. Within this context, we convey the findings of a qualitative study into identity construction amongst a group of young British Pakistanis living in the North-West of England. In presenting the narratives of participants, the processes involved in the maintenance of solid, elastic and resistant identities are elucidated. Drawing upon Bhabha’s third space thesis we go on to explore the political potentiality of and the limits to hybrid identities.