Negotiating Subordinated Masculinities: Experiences of Islamophobia in East London

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Arab and Islamic Studies


The focus of my current research project is an exploration of the gendered experiences of Muslim Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in Europe. As such, this research involves an examination of the ways in which gender intersects with the changing economic and social roles that refugees experience. Ultimately, I hope to establish how gender affects Syrian and Iraqi refugees' abilities to come to terms with, and adapt to, their new daily realities - whether negotiating changing familial relationships and managing new family responsibilities, living with often uncertain legal statuses, affirming national and religious identities, being isolated from established Muslim communities, coping with the effects of gender-based violence, the adaptation of refugee children into mainstream education, or countless other obstacles that refugees may encounter.

By incorporating a gendered perspective into the study, I hope to contribute more nuanced understandings and knowledge to forced migration studies, which may then be used in the planning and implementation of social and economic service provision - such as access to healthcare, education and employment - both now and in the future.

In terms of methodology, my research consists of a qualitative study, conducted largely through a modified form of biographical interpretative method within semi-structured interviews. Therefore, refugees will be asked to describe their experiences since coming to live in their host country in a biographical manner and with particular emphasis on their experiences of adapting to their new lives and their expectations for the future.

Taking participants' level of English into account, it is likely that interviews will need to be conducted, at least partially, in Arabic. While I have proficiency in Arabic, I am not a native speaker. Therefore, I intend to undertake difficult language training in order to facilitate communication within my interviews. In spite of this, I am also aware that I may have to involve interpreters in order to appreciate concepts, contexts, inferences and assumptions that cannot be drawn from a technical and literal translation. However, assuming a reflexive and critical model, I will treat interpreters as 'key informants'. From this position, rather than treating interpreters as a neutral mouthpiece, I can account for an interpreter's own assumptions and perspectives and the impact these may have upon their translation and the research process itself.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1788591 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2023 Isobel Kingscott