This anthropological project seeks to understand how first and second generation women of Arab-Muslim origin living in Britain and Italy shape and negotiate their "ethnic identity" through the experience of migration. The research will focus on three interconnected themes:
The meanings women give to particular aspects of their own culture, and whether, and if so how these meanings change after they come to live in a different society.
Whether and how the system of cultural meanings women produce through the experience of migration affects and shapes categories of the culture of origin.
How institutional policies in the receiving societies define migrant women's identity, and the extent to which the assumption of a Muslim identity is a response to western attitudes towards Islam.
The research methods, for which training will be given at the University of Sussex, will include participant observation, collection of life histories of women, and semi-strutured and unstructured interviews.