The Formation of Islamic Identity: The Case of South Asian Female Muslim Students in the New British Universities

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Casual observation points to growing Islamisation among Muslim students in British universities including female students. This trend is concurrent with the global Islamists revival in Egypt, Iran, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey, and Islamist movements in Western countries. Sociologists and political scientists interest in the issue of identity has been tackled in the context of multiculturalism, which was also influenced by the discourse on post-modernism. From an economic perspective, however, recognition of a self or “ego”, that long has been recognized in psychology, has impact on the utility function because acknowledgement of identity enhances utility. Female Muslim identity in the context of this empirical study is defines to entail the voluntary adoption of Muslim veil, Hejab, in contrast to that of a secular identity. This study, employing binary choice models, provides a quantitative analysis of economic and social factors affecting the formation of a Muslim identity among South Asian female Muslim students in new British universities. The empirical study is based on primary data collection including direct interviews. The target population for this study is female Muslim students in new British universities, which house most of the Muslim students from ethnic groups in the UK. The significance of this study lies in its interdisciplinary structure, its empirical nature and focus on economics. We hope the findings of the study to be of use for policy makers dealing with social policy


Keywords: Identity, Muslim, British Universities
Stream: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Formation of Islamic Identity


Dr. Parvin Alizadeh

Senior lecturer in economics, London Metropolitan Business School, London Metropolitan University
London, UK

I am a senior lecturer of economics in London Metropolitan University with over 20 years of experience in teaching, research and advisory work. Born in Tehran I received higher education in Iran and the UK and have worked in the UK, the USA, Switzerland and 10 African countries. I am on the board of directors of the Middle East Economic Association. Qualifications DPhil Sussex University
MA Sussex University MSc London School of Economics. Employment
1990-Senior Lecturer, London Metropolitan University
2000-2003 Tenure Track, Associate Professor, Denison University, Ohio, USA.
1988-1990 Lecturer, Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.Representative Publications‘Recent Economic Reforms and Structural Trap: Iranian Quandary.’ The Brown Journal of the World Affairs, Winter/Spring, 2003.
With Barry Harper, ’The Feminisation of Labour Force in Iran’, Iran Encountering Globalisation, Ed. Ali Mohammadi, Routledge/Curzon, 2003‘The State and Social Position of Women: Female Employment in Post Revolutionary Iran.’ The Economy of Iran: Dilemmas of an Islamic State, Ed. Parvin Alizadeh, IB Tauris Publisher, 2001.‘Trade Effects of 1992 and the Developing Countries’ Journal of International Development, 1993.With Hans Singer, 'Import Substitution Revisited in a Darkening External Environment', Policies for Development, Ed. Sidney Dell, Macmillan Pres. 1988.Advisory Work 1996, “The Impact of the Uruguay Round on Selected African Countries”, Commissioned for the UNIDO. 1990, “The Trade Effects of European Integration on Developing Countries”, Commissioned for the UNCTAD.

Dr. Chris Stewart

Senior lecturer, London metropolitan business school, London Metropolitan University
London, UK

Will be sent later on. Chris ia a senior lecturer of economics in London Metropolitan University. He is an active researcher with interest in research methodology and qualitative research.

Ref: I08P0471