• '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.