Mobilizing Pakistani heritage, approaching marriage

Richard Phillips, Claire Chambers, Nafhesa Ali, Raksha Pande, Peter Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the ongoing significance of Pakistani heritage in the lives of young British Pakistani Muslims. Drawing upon interviews with 56 women and men, it explores the link between Pakistani heritage and young peoples’ lives, focusing upon marriage.

Pakistani heritage is widely regarded as a constraint and an anachronism, which young people are jettisoning in favour of religious or secular identities: as Muslims, British, or both. This is a half-truth, at most. Some young people are turning away from Pakistaniness, but others are embracing and exploring versions and elements of this heritage as they make decisions about whether, when and whom to marry.

Whether they are rejecting or embracing Pakistani heritage, young people are actively mobilizing the terms “Pakistan” and “Pakistani” as springboards from which to identify and make life choices. They are exploring possibilities rather than acknowledging inevitabilities, and approaching heritage as a resource rather than a constraint.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number16
Early online date21 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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