'Let's talk about ...men': Young British Pakistani Muslim Women's Narratives about Co-Ethnic Men in 'Postcolonial' Bradford

Gurchathen Singh Sanghera, Suruchi Thapar-Bjorkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In media and political representations, Muslims have been constructed as ‘ultimate Others’ who pose a threat to western human rights, democracy and freedoms. These representations, however, are gendered. Muslim men and women are positioned in ambiguous and contradictory ways: Muslim men are often represented as embodying a masculinity that is inherently misogynistic, controlling and dangerous and, more recently, associated with radicalization and Islamic terrorism, while Muslim women are presented as victims of patriarchy, passive and voiceless. This essay explores the complexities of the gendered social worlds of Pakistani Muslim men and women, and provides an intimate analysis of urban lives in ‘postcolonial’ Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK, through the narratives of young British Pakistani Muslim women about co-ethnic men. Situated in their everyday lives, the essay explores how young Pakistani Muslim women at times adopt methods of ‘strategic essentialism’ to critique and resist co-ethnic men and masculinities. Adopting an interpretivist approach, this essay draws on research conducted with young Pakistani Muslim women in Bradford.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-612
Number of pages22
Issue number4
Early online date12 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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