Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.786931
Title: Female Malaysian Muslim students' experiences in the United Kingdom : piety and everyday life in Manchester and Cardiff
Author: Ibnu, Ireena Nasiha
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 3606
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
This thesis explores the transnational life experiences of female Malaysian Muslim students in the United Kingdom (UK). The research both documents and explores the everyday lives of the students, reflecting on the challenge they face and the concerns and pleasures they experience while living and studying in the UK. The research focuses on two key themes. Firstly, it looks at the production of social space by female Malaysian Muslim students and their communities in the UK. Secondly, it emphasises the ways in which female Malaysian Muslim students sustain social space and social networks. The thesis contributes to the literature on transnationalism, the anthropology of Islam and an expanding body of work on internationally mobile students. It contributes to knowledge in these fields specifically through its focus on the experiences of female Muslim students - many of whom are committed participants in piety-minded forms of Islamic movement and organisation - in a non-Muslim country. A further central aspect of the thesis addresses how Malaysian students who are beneficiaries of government scholarships handle the pressures and challenges attached to holding such awards while studying overseas. The thesis is based upon multi-sited ethnography carried out in two cities in the UK over the course of a twelve-month period. During the research, ethnographic participant observation and in-depth interviews with thirty informants were carried out. Analysis of my empirical qualitative material shows that senior students and the Malay community in the host country play an important role in shaping Malay students' religiosity and participation in piety movements. The findings also reveal that Malay students' experience is managed through an extraordinary range of institutions, rituals, practices, organisations and spaces in a manner that provides the possibility both for students to think actively about their Muslim selfhood and to learn how to handle those forms of social and cultural diversity with which they are not familiar. Thus, the thesis argues that, while these students strive to be good Muslims, they also wish to cultivate the social skills required for life away from home. However, the situation becomes more complex due to their status as sponsored students. They are called upon by the government of Malaysia to act as the country's 'mini-diplomats'. Besides a commitment to piety-minded Islam, this factor also results in the women striving to perform well in their studies while simultaneously seeking to fulfil the conceptions of 'good moral behaviour' advanced by the Malaysian government and their families. Nevertheless, in spite of these complex pressures, female Malaysian Muslim students also regularly emphasise their ability to develop alternative identities that reflect their individual interests and concerns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.786931  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BP001 Islam ; HB2104.6 Malaysia ; LB2375 Exchange of students and scholars. Foreign study
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