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From pioneers to new millennials : a dynamics of identity among British Bangladeshi women in London

Ferdowsi, Lubna


Lubna Ferdowsi


Mark, 1949 Johnson

Lisa Dikomitis

Lucy Michael

Julia Holdsworth


This dissertation is an ethnography about British Bangladeshi women of different age groups who live in London. In this study I explore the identity dynamics of these women. I do this through an intersectional approach, focussing on age, generation, socio-economic status, and time of migration. I argue that the term 'generation', which has been used in existing literature on diaspora and migration, is confusing and inappropriate to address the diversity of diaspora people in relation to their intersectional and contextual differences. Hence, a significant finding is that using 'cohort' can be an appropriate way to avoid generalizing diasporan, and address diversity among them and the different contexts in which they are situated. My participants have been through distinctive experiences in their process of migration, most at different and particular stages of their life cycles, and in some cases, even women in the same age groups have had different contextual or transnational upbringing in the pre and post migration phases. Therefore, arguing that the term 'generation' is confounding, I have preferred to categorise my participants as members of particular 'cohorts' from an ethnographic perspective through intersecting their age, time of migration, and contextual upbringing. I have termed them as follows: the Pioneer Cohort, the Cooked in Britain Cohort, the British-born Cohort and the New-migrant Cohort. I argue that by playing multiple, dynamic and multifaceted roles in a diaspora and transnational space, these diverse groups of women are constantly forming and reforming their positionality. This process of forming fluid and dynamic identities in context, which I call 'contextual identity', challenges the feminization of ethnicity in a diaspora space, and provides diaspora women of different age groups with the power of speech, prominence, belonging, demonstration and self-confidence to contribute in a changing diaspora and transnational space.


Ferdowsi, L. (2017). From pioneers to new millennials : a dynamics of identity among British Bangladeshi women in London. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Social sciences; Gender studies
Public URL
Additional Information School of Education and Social Sciences, The University of Hull
Award Date Jul 1, 2017


Thesis (3.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 Ferdowsi, Lubna. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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