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The perception of honour among the British-Pakistani community in Watford, United Kingdom

Metlo, Zubaida (2012) The perception of honour among the British-Pakistani community in Watford, United Kingdom. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the related concepts of honour and shame in the British-Pakistani community in Watford. "Honour" - symbolic term and fluid entity - disturbs many people's lives. Scholars link it to patriarchy as it is embedded in cultural patriarchy (familial, hierarchal and kinship based). The phenomenon has been verified through an explicit set of values and evidences which works in personal and communal form affecting and subordinating women's position in family and community. Honour process has a lifelong application to women's lives which starts ideologically from birth and in practice from pre-puberty. In practice the woman is expected by close family, extended family and community members to avoid any physical contact with a male which might result in romantic intimacy or sexual relationship before or outside marriage. The research questions evolving during field work were deeply grounded in community beliefs constantly producing and reinforcing multiple complexities in controlling young British born women's lives to produce family's required reputation as an ethnic identity in the community. Young women are being indoctrinated in ambiguous, intimidating, and patriarchal ways to follow rules for modesty, facing harsh consequences if they cross the line. Women's modesty and their marriage are a central component in honour culture. The main concern noticed is that parents live in apprehension that their daughter might get involved in a relationship outside the family's preference as they intend to keep their ethnic identity intact through their daughter's modest behaviour. Marriage demands women's utter modesty, sexual purity and dutiful role being a daughter, wife and a mother. Inter-generational tensions were observed, parents were more inclined towards their group identity. Young British born adults criticise caste values; young British born women, while inclined towards Islamic teaching ifIslam appreciates women's rights, differ from their elders in being uncertain about continuing to live by patriarchal honour dictated codes. They were courageous and confident in negotiating for social change while trying to keep parents happy. Three generations were involved in this study, females being the main participants in the project, but equally men's contributi~n was found highly useful to understanding the community concerns and cultural practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.582105
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2014 11:16
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2014 11:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6762

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