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Overview

This article focuses on agency and citizenship from the point of view of Bangladeshi immigrant women who have been living in UK for the last two generations. They have a transnational identity, living between two cultures, which often have contradictory elements. On the one hand, these women identify themselves as British citizens: a status which provides them with some liberal rights. On the other hand, they practise Bangladeshi culture at home, which often entails patriarchal elements. At the junction of these two identities, religion (Islam) works as a guiding principle, and as a uniting tool in their personal as well as public lives. The present article challenges the notions that immigrant women shaped by Bangladeshi culture are victims of patriarchal ideologies, and that Bangladeshi culture hinders women from development. It rather suggests that it is not Bangladeshi culture or religion that hinders women from exercising agency, but their identity as immigrants.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

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10.1080/13552074.2011.625639

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