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British Bangladeshi young people and the British political system: perceptions of belongingness and access in comparison to English young people. Dimitra Pachi and Martyn Barrett University of Surrey, UK
British Bangladeshi young people and the British political system: perceptions of belongingness and access in comparison to English young people
Dimitra Pachi and Martyn Barrett
University of Surrey, UK
Paper presented at the 7th Annual Conference of the Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CRONEM), “Global Migration and Multiculturalism: Religion, Society, Policy and Politics”, 28th-29th June, 2011, University of Surrey, UK.
The answer: Yes and No
to voluntary and less direct activities using new means of social/political information and communication
a shift from strictly institutional and traditional forms of political participation
(Curtice, 2005; Zukin, Keeter, Andolina, Jenkins & Delli Carpini, 2006)
Also happening amongst ethnic minority youth (Stepick & Stepick, 2002; Jensen, 2008)
Existing research has shown that girls get more engaged with ethnocultural associations than boys (Dion & Dion, 2001)
e.g. the youngest Bangladeshi groups were gender specific; Bangladeshi youth centres have separate activity days for boys and girls
Thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes (Joffe & Yardley, 2004; Braun & Clarke, 2006).
“The opportunities are there, but they (referring to young people) probably don’t know about that” (British Bangladeshi female, 20-26 years old)
“There aren’t enough different opportunities, there’s like, you can write to you MP, or you can join youth parliament. But then only a certain number of people are interested in this sort…these sorts of things. Loads of other young people, like to express themselves differently and I don’t think there is enough, different varieties, there isn’t enough variety for expression. But not only that but like nowadays there is so much pressure on young people to grow up fast and get a job and start their life, they just are not interested in things anymore.” (British Bangladeshi female, 20-26 years old)
“…if you are graffiting then they are not gonna want to listen to you because you are doing something against the law, you are doing something against them, you are not really asking them to do something, they will just try to not do it because….(you are showing it in the wrong way) (British Bangladeshi female, 16-18 years old)
Participation for religious issues, the environment
b. people don’t like violence
“One of the extreme ones, probably demonstration …but demonstration isn’t always like something I would agree with, because most people don’t really like it cause it causes violence on the street” (British Bangladeshi female, 20-26 years old)
“Me it would be councillors, MPs, get up the whole hierarchical system and get yourself heard, wherever it’s, obviously even if you are doing over a period a time, get groups together, I mean that gets more noticed than it does doing something…” (British Bangladeshi male, 20-26 years old)
Rejection because breaking the law
Acceptance for important issues, such as religious issues
Acknowledgement because of their proven effectiveness in history and the rationality behind them in certain cases
“definitely not, but the suffragettes they starved themselves in order to get the vote for women…” (British Bangladeshi male, 20-26 years old)
“there is some countries where you can’t do nothing…you known them countries where they blow themselves up…I wouldn’t do that but I am saying they do have reasons to do it, they are not doing it for no reason…” (British Bangladeshi male, 20-26 years old)
If you have the legal right to be in the country you can’t change it PartB5.5
Someone who has got British passport, to show you’ve got British nationality…” (British Bangladeshi female, 20-26 years old)
“Like this youth centre, before I come here, I used to hang around in the streets and the estates and stuff, and since I have been coming here, I have been on an estate only a few times, I come here…” (English male, 16-18 years old)
“They have the youth parliament now, don’t they” (English male, 20-26 years old)
“I mean I don’t think the government stifles youth, so you can’t, you know, present your views how you want to present them, but I think if you want to demonstrate, or get your view out, you are gonna get out heard, whether, you don’t need to be given, it would be a bit…what’s the word like? Ehm….ehm…like it would seem a bit weird if the government was like here here is the forum for you to demonstrate your views on immigration or something…” (English female, 20-26 years old)
“I think it’s much as the next person, like an adult” (English female, 20-26 years old)
“Before you are 21 you can hardly do anything, cause like we might have a lot of opinions on political parties, but we can’t vote, can we?” (English male, 16-18 years old)
“I would say art and music” (English female, 16-18 years old)
I would sponsor someone else but I wouldn’t do it… (laugh from everyone)
You would sponsor somebody doing it…
Yeah, but I am not doing it, I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t last long ….
It needs a lot of patience and I don’t have any…(English, females, 16-18 years old)
“…the only thing I really do is like sign petitions and like been a couple of demonstrations in the past but I have never…voting I suppose but I think that’s the extent of …” (English females, 20-26 years old)
I think it’s quite ineffective in the end, you get your picture taken, you go on the paper and then that’s it
Also I think at times it can have a negative effect if they do like …
They are breaking the law (English females, 20-26 years old)
I am sure not of all asylum seekers, I am sure there is probably a vast majority who don’t get a proper hearing, they are just sent back, obviously it’s too expensive to get each of them an individual oral hearing, so …..they are probably sent back without just having an application and that being rejected….I am sure they don’t have as many rights as we do….
And I mean obviously they don’t have any representation in the Parliament, I doubt they have any asylum seeker…..so…” (English females, 20-26 years old)
Or do you think everybody has the same opportunities?
I don’t actually know…
Yeah I don’t know…if anyone is excluded or not, I don’t think of it as someone is more excluded than other people” (English females, 16-18 years old)
Yeah, I don’t think that women thing (that women are excluded), even like we are a bit more favoured I would say
(more participants agree)
And similarly with the domestic violence on a man; it’s kind of laughed about. If a man hits a woman it’s terrible, and if a woman hits a man, you know it’s…” (English female, 20-26 years old)
The research reported in this paper was supported by a grant received from the European Commission 7th Framework Programme, FP7- SSH-2007-1, Grant Agreement no: 225282, Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation (PIDOP) awarded to the University of Surrey (UK), University of Liège (Belgium), Masaryk University (Czech Republic), University of Jena (Germany), University of Bologna (Italy), University of Porto (Portugal), Örebro University (Sweden), Ankara University (Turkey) and Queen’s University Belfast (UK)