Paradox of Visibility

Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 31 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Hengameh ASHRAF EMAMI, Northumbria uNiversity, United Kingdom, Northumbria University, United Kingdom
The paper will offer a contextualised account of Muslim women’s identities in Britain. It aims to explore and compare the construction of identities, and also how to get positive recognition in various generations of British Muslim women. The empirical research will explore the construction and reconstruction of research participants’ identities and their dimensions and processes. The politics of recognition /misrecognition will be employed to analyse the research participants’ experiences in the various arenas of their social, cultural and individual life. Multidimensional aspects of self and their mobility between traditional and modern will be explored; the fluidity of identity also is another aspect that will be discussed in the paper. Then it will examine manifestations of Muslim women’s agency, and identity formation in modern Britain. Therefore, gender discourse will explore the religious and cultural practices of those women. The intersectionality of gender, religion, and ethnicity will be emphasised.

Qualitative research was chosen in order to explore the theoretical model of the relationship between ethnicity, narrative, and identity within the British Muslim women in Newcastle-upon Tyne. The ethnographic intergenerational research will include various aspects of ethnic minority women with Islamic heritage and reflect on the themes of identities, and belonging. The research utilizes oral history interviews, which are concerned with meaning and understanding to arrive at an interpretation. Therefore valuable life experiences can be revealed to be shared with the wider society, and breaking the invisible social barriers among people from different communities. A feminist approach to ethnographic methodologies is adopted to share the richness of research participants’ experiences in order to empower those women. The research also adopted a participatory method though creative writing workshops and also images which will also contribute to a wide range of debates on gender, visibility and empowerment.