The Development of a Br-Islamic: Third Generation Bangladeshis from East London (Tower Hamlets)

Hoque, Aminul. 2010. The Development of a Br-Islamic: Third Generation Bangladeshis from East London (Tower Hamlets). Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

EDU_thesis_Hoque_2011.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (7MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This thesis is an in-depth ethnographic study of the lives and multiple identities of six third generation British born Bangladeshis from Tower Hamlets. I argue that they find it difficult to be both British and Bangladeshi and are presented with difficult identity choices. Marginalised by mainstream British society due to ethno-cultural differences, many are also excluded from the Bangladeshi community due to their adoption of a seemingly more Western lifestyle.

This complex situation brings into sharp focus the question of identity or identities.
Are British born third generation Bangladeshis:
• Bangladeshi ?
• British ?
• Muslim ?
• A fusion of the three ?

The central argument of this study is that this dual exclusion from both wider British society and Bangladeshi culture has forced many third generation Bangladeshis to seek alternative identities.

In modern geo-politics, the emergence of Islam as a powerful mobilising entity for its followers, has led to the growth of religiously orientated identities in many younger generations across the Muslim diaspora. Numerous third generation Bangladeshis from Tower Hamlets have syncretised their Bangladeshi culture with their Western socialisation within an Islamic framework. The result is the construction of what I have termed a Br-Islamic identity. Enabling the subjects to identify comfortably with their multifaceted identities, Br-Islam challenges traditional Bangladeshi norms, values and rituals and also contests the complex notion of what it means to be ‘British’. Br-Islam allows many to be British, Bangladeshi and Muslim all at the same time, thus occupying more of a socio-political rather than theological space in wider society.

Furthermore, as a dynamic and complex postmodern identity, Br-Islam requires a constantly changing view of ‘self’, responding to rapid social, economic and technological changes in modern society. I argue that Br-Islam is a fluid response to this crisis – a hybrid concept negotiating the complexities of modern society and providing its members with the voice, visibility, belonging, representation and confidence to partake in the wider political process.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


other, otherization, britishness, multiculturalism, racism, third generation, bangladeshis, east london, islam, multiplicity of identities, immigration, generational tension,

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


27 October 2010

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Jan 2012 13:20

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 13:42


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)