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Title: Somali women and political participation : a case study of diaspora in Minneapolis and London
Author: Abdulle, Habon
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 3713
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation is research in the area of political engagement as affected by gender and immigrant status. More specifically, the dissertation examines the political participation of Somali diaspora Muslim women in Minneapolis and London. The topic is of particular significance given the increase in essentialist arguments of inner incompatibility between Islam and Western democratic and liberal culture. No research to date has empirically analyzed the political participation of Somali diaspora women in Minneapolis and London. The goal of the study was twofold: to understand similarities and differences in diaspora women from two different sites and to explore how generational differences affect the forms and levels of political participation of the diaspora woman. To capture the similarities and differences of the respondents, I employed a qualitative approach. This method allows accounts from the perspectives of the women themselves to explain the types of participation factors that hinder or engender their involvement. The empirical analysis is built on semi-structured interviews that were conducted with 40 Somali diaspora Muslim women living in Minneapolis and London. Interview themes involved topics such as discrimination at school, downward mobility, political activism both transnational and local, belonging, and identification. Furthermore, personal observations made during political demonstrations and community gatherings were included in the analysis. The study draws broadly from the following theories: postcolonialism, transnationalism, intersectionality, and social capital. The findings from the study suggest that Somali diaspora women participate in the politics of Minneapolis and London and that generation does affect type and form of political engagement. Moreover, my findings argue that immigrant women have public roles in transnational politics. This research will contribute to the literature on immigrant women and political participation by providing further evidence to explain how generation, locality and religious affiliations impact Somali immigrant women's political activities in Minneapolis and London.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DT0402.45 Somalis in foreign countries ; JV6347 Women immigrants ; JV7012 Minnesota ; JV7684 Women