'Home' : the perspectives of young Asian women in Sheffield
This thesis describes and analyses the views of young Muslim women from Pakistani backgrounds who live in the same neighbourhood in Sheffield. The thesis documents their perspectives about `home'. More specifically, it considers their perceptions of identity and `belonging', in light of their residence in Sheffield and family connections to Pakistan. This thesis is prompted by the inadequacy of existing explanations. `Belonging' has been under theorised, viewed as cultural affiliation to British culture or Asian culture. This is inadequate. Debate focuses on `difference'. Asian cultures are reified, depicted as patriarchal and constraining. More recent accounts have tried to move debate forward via a reformulation of identity; belonging is still viewed as one-dimensional. I aim to establish a broader based account of the young women's perspectives, focussing on their own views. Central to the analytical framework is a focus on views about place. Description and analysis explores views about three key places in their views: the neighbourhood, Sheffield and Pakistan. This facilitates a move beyond the confines of existing research where `belonging' is viewed as an affiliation to the nation. Description and analysis of the young women's views reveals the centrality of `racism' to their views about Sheffield. The young women were apprehensive about experiencing racial harassment or violence. This acted as a backdrop to their views about place. Racism did not prevent `belonging'. Meanings that addressed this apprehension were central to their perspectives about `home' in Sheffield. Identity and belonging are understood as multifaceted. The young women had a sense of affinity with Pakistan, coupled with a sense of belonging in Sheffield. Rather than being trapped `between two cultures' they simultaneously looked towards Sheffield and Pakistan; they identified as `Pakistanis in Sheffield'. Views about place played a mediatory role in perceptions of identity and belonging, reflecting and sustaining perspectives.