Muslims, South Asians and the British mainstream: A national identity crisis?

Rahsaan Maxwell

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Current popular opinion assumes that Muslims and South Asians in Britain develop anti-mainstream identities because they live in impoverished and segregated ghettos, participate in non-mainstream religions, and politically organise via ethnically and religiously motivated networks. This article uses survey data from the 2003 Home Office Citizenship Survey to challenge each of those points. First, it shows that Muslims and South Asians are almost as likely as whites to identify themselves as British. Second, it argues that discrimination is more important than simple socio-economic difficulties for British identification. In addition, it claims that despite living in ethnically segregated neighbourhoods and retaining ethnic and religious social and political networks, Muslims and South Asians have actively built integrated networks, have trust in mainstream political institutions, and are committed to being a part of the larger British community.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)736-756
    Number of pages21
    JournalWest European Politics
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Sep 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Political Science and International Relations


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