• Automatic transmission: ethnicity, racialization and the car

      Alam, M. Yunis (2016)
      This article is based on ethnographic research carried out in Bradford, an ethnically diverse city situated in the north of England. The sample of over 60 participants mostly comprises males of British Pakistani Muslim heritage but varies in terms other markers of identity such as social class, profession and residential/working locale. The article analyses the cultural value and meaning of cars within a multicultural context and how a consumer object can feed into the processes which refine and embed racialized identities. Small cases studies reveal the concrete and discursive ways through which ideas around identity and ethnicity are transmitted and how, in particular, racialization continues to feature as a live, active and recognisable process in everyday experience.
    • 'Hello, Jav, Got a New Motor?': Cars, (De)Racialization and Muslim Identity

      Alam, M. Yunis (2013)
      The car is a symbolic presence at the heart of the everyday experience of multi-ethnic coexistence. Exploring the potential significance of car ownership among members of the Pakistani/Muslim population in Bradford has an inherent interest and virtue, but more acutely, it can shed light on social relations where class, gender, religion and ethnicity intersect. The ‘young Asian/White/Muslim/Black male driver’ has acquired a certain meaning and reputation which has largely negative associations across Britain. However, once stereotypes such as the ones at play in the diary entry above are unpicked and engaged with, meaning becomes more nuanced and complicated, but no less vital. Indeed, the research upon which this paper is based suggests that car culture offers insights: first, into how some aspects of broader ‘British Muslim’ identity are framed; and second, that often negative, exoticized and racialized aspects of identity can be detuned and thus made less potent markers of racialized thinking.
    • Lived Diversities: Space, Place and Identities in the Multi-Ethnic City

      Husband, Charles H.; Alam, M. Yunis; Huetterman, J.; Fomina, J. (2014-09-24)
    • Race, Taste, Class and Cars - 21st Century Standpoints

      Alam, M. Yunis (Policy Press, 2020-07)
      Love them or hate them, most of us have an opinion about cars. If not the cars themselves, then it’s driver competence and behaviour that can offend us. And then there’s modification: alloy wheels, custom audio systems and bespoke paint jobs. For some, changing the look, feel and sound of a car says something about themselves, but for others, such enhancements signify a lack of taste, or even criminality. In subtle and complex ways, cars transmit and modify our identities behind the wheel. As a symbol of independence and freedom, the car projects status, class, taste and, significantly, embeds racialisation. Using fascinating research from drivers, including first-person accounts as well as exploring hip-hop music and car-related TV shows, Alam unpicks the ways in which identity is rehearsed, enhanced, interpreted.
    • Young British Pakistani Muslim women’s involvement in higher education

      Hussain, I.; Johnson, Sally E.; Alam, M. Yunis (2017-11-01)
      This article explores the implications for identity through presenting a detailed analysis of how three British Pakistani women narrated their involvement in higher education. The increased participation of British South Asian women in higher education has been hailed a major success story and is said to have enabled them to forge alternative, more empowering gender identities in comparison to previous generations. Drawing on generative narrative interviews conducted with three young women, we explore the under-researched area of Pakistani Muslim women in higher education. The central plotlines for their stories are respectively higher education as an escape from conforming to the ‘good Muslim woman’; becoming an educated mother; and Muslim women can ‘have it all’. Although the women narrated freedom to choose, their stories were complex. Through analysis of personal ‘I’ and social ‘We’ self-narration, we discuss the different ways in which they drew on agency and fashioned it within social and structural constraints of gender, class and religion. Thus higher education is a context that both enables and constrains negotiations of identity.