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Durham e-Theses
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TO LOVE AN(OTHER): NARRATIVES OF MIXED MARRIAGES AMONGST BRITISH PAKISTANI MUSLIMS

ALLAS, AUDREY,CATHERINE (2018) TO LOVE AN(OTHER): NARRATIVES OF MIXED MARRIAGES AMONGST BRITISH PAKISTANI MUSLIMS. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 09 May 2021.

Abstract

The main research objective of this thesis examines how individual, self-identifying British Pakistani Muslims negotiate their senses of belonging through their marital selections. Drawing upon cases on intermarried case studies, I ethnographically explore how these individuals experience and interpret wedding ceremonies, sequences of expected obligations and reciprocity, religious belonging and raising children, and how digital and social media serve as tools of inspiration and mediation around issues of intermarriage. Although disparate in ethnographic representation, what unifies and casts these case studies and themes as an anthropological area of reflection is the individual sense of ‘unique’ life stories, and more importantly how these life stories interlink with similar life stories through a multi-layered narrative process.

Considered to be relatively endogamous, British Pakistani Muslims in cultural, religious, and racial intermarriages become anthropologically engaging. While some individuals of this study conceptualise their experiences as transcending kinship boundaries, others are continuously weighing their relationship choices against their traditional upbringings, considered by some participants to be contradictory experiences. In response, I argue that the diverse examples of intermarriage not only demonstrate how narrative is formed and reformed through past-present-and-future imaginings and experiences, but also how navigating social risks plays a significant role in partner selection, child rearing, and other relationship behaviours. Individuals, like those of this study who push the boundaries of risk, do not do so as isolated agents, but are able to do so due to an increasing testing of social boundaries and of weighing risk, emotional labour, and future imaginings that are reflected upon through collective narrative processes.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 May 2018 08:55

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