The politics of ethnicity, identity and religion among Turks in London
Küçükcan, Talip (1996) The politics of ethnicity, identity and religion among Turks in London. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1359906~S1
'The Politics of Ethnicity, Identity and Religion Among Turks in London' is a study
of a micro-Muslim community in Britain. Earlier research on Islam and Muslims in
Britain concentrated predominantly on Islam amongst South-Asian Muslims
although there is a large degree of diversity in the expression of cultural and
religious identity among Muslim communities in Britain. This thesis seeks to come
to an understanding of the politics of ethnicity, identity and religion among Turkish
Muslims who are a part of this diversity. The main objective of this research is to
analyse how Turkish identity is constructed and what are the roles of family,
culture, organisations and religious groups in the reproduction and transmission of
traditional values to the young generation. This research is expected to fill a gap in
research on micro-Muslim communities in Britain.
Research methods involved participant observation, in-depth interviews and a survey.
Seventeen months of fieldwork in the north-east London and two months fieldwork in
Berlin were carried out to collect ethnographic data. During the research, 77 people were
interviewed in-depth, 93 young Turks participated in a survey and 29 people took part
in group interviews.
The thesis begins with a brief account of immigration to Western Europe in general
and to Britain in particular. Then, a discussion of theoretical issues on migration,
ethnicity and the development of identity is presented where the major
anthropological and sociological theories are examined.
Turkish immigration to Western Europe in general and to Britain in particular is outlined
in Chapter Four and issues concerning family, kinship and reproduction of traditional
values are examined in Chapter Five wherein it is argued that Turkish identity is
reinforced by the reproduction of family values and kin relations in London. It is also
demonstrated in this Chapter that new types of relations are established which are based
on wider social networks.
Continuity and change in the identity construction of the young Turkish generation are
discussed by analysing their attitudes towards language, culture, family, sexuality and
religion in Chapters Six and Seven. The process of institutionalisation and analysis of the
influence of Turkish organisations on the politics of identity and its expression are
presented in Chapters Eight, Nine and Ten. The institutionalisation of Islam is analysed
in relation to identity and religious diversity within the Turkish community. The politics
of main Islamic groups are also analysed to explain how religion and politics are related
and the extent to which religious movements in the country of origin influence Islamic
This research shows that family relations and social networks have played an important
role on every stage of immigration and settlement Traditional values are constantly
reproduced within Turkish families as an expression of identity and every effort is made
to ensure that the young generation are not alienated from these values. However, there
is an emergent identity construction taking place among the young generation, generally
inspired by the 'local' experience. This suggests that the emergent Turkish identity
accommodates continuity and change in relation to Turkish culture, sometimes
producing tension between generations. For the young generation traditions, culture and
religion are increasingly becoming values for 'symbolic' attachment.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Turks -- England -- London, Muslims -- England -- London|
|Official Date:||December 1996|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations (Economic and Social Research Council)|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Anwar, Muhammad, 1945-|
|Sponsors:||Centre for Islamic Studies (Istanbul)|
|Extent:||339,  leaves|
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