Friday, January 12, 2007

Representing South Asians

An interesting report [html/pdf] has just been published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on South Asian communities in the UK, based on research in Bradford. Not suprisingly, the so-called South Asian "community" is found to be "culturally and socially fragmented, reflecting caste, gender and generational hierarchies deriving from place of origin. These hierarchies often impacted significantly on participation and on which voices were heard". The minorities within the "community" face internal injustices.

Caste and sexuality feature prominently.
Caste division is also severely limiting in terms of social mobility; judgements on the basis of caste are still being made by some young people born in the UK. Caste and status influences mosque leadership, with the mosque being a key locale for participation within the South Asian community. Caste also influences the character of political representation of areas such as Manningham, where residents from one area of Pakistan predominate...

Non-heterosexual South Asians (described absurdly in the report as "the" South Asian LGBT "community") face
religious and cultural intolerance, which is expressed as religious and family disapproval, social isolation, stigma and even violence. This has a major impact on the ability of people from this community to get involved in local consultation and decision-making.
No suprises there then.


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