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Marriage and masculinities in motion: Examining the migrant husband’s experience in Birmingham’s British Pakistani community

Bi, Suriyah; (2020) Marriage and masculinities in motion: Examining the migrant husband’s experience in Birmingham’s British Pakistani community. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis examines marriage and masculinities in motion through the experiences of Pakistani migrant husbands in Birmingham, UK. Drawing on the detailed life history narratives of sixty-two migrant husbands, and fourty-three community member interlocuters who were aware of and/or in contact with migrant husbands, over a thirty-month period (February 2016-August 2018), the thesis explores and is organised in three key sections: (a) aspirational masculinity, (b) liminal masculinity, and (c) (re)assertive masculinity. The first section of the thesis traces the shifts in the aspirations of migrant husbands before and after marriage and migration, showing that these shifts are experienced in relation to the masculine ideal of ‘transnational patriarch’. The second section explores the impact of marriage and migration on the experiences of masculinity. I trace the ways that migrant husbands can experience precarity, heightened levels of vulnerability, and domestic violence. As a result, I argue that migrant husbands experience a ‘liminal’ [in-between] masculinity. The final section of the thesis explores the ways in which migrant husbands practice agency and resistance. Three significant arenas of agency and resistance are highlighted: (1) engaging with Songs of Sorrow, a musical form that extends from Sufi Qawwali, (2) by engaging in religious practices that are unique to Birmingham’s ‘Sufi-scape’ in which migrant husbands develop a ‘prophetic masculinity’, (3) and by way of appearing financially secure in order to maintain their identity as ‘transnational patriarch’. The thesis engages with and contributes to the field of men and masculinity studies, migration studies, human geography, and the anthropology of Islam. The research also contributes to and paves a way forward for the ‘decolonization of Muslim men’.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Marriage and masculinities in motion: Examining the migrant husband’s experience in Birmingham’s British Pakistani community
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Masculinity, gender, migration, transnational marriage, British Muslims, Anthropology of Islam
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090830
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