Islamophobia and anti-racism in two British cities: place, theory and practice

Harris, Scarlet (2020) Islamophobia and anti-racism in two British cities: place, theory and practice. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


In recent years, Islamophobia has taken on increasing significance as an issue in public, political, and academic debates. Despite this, there has been limited attention paid to the connections between Islamophobia, racism and – most starkly – anti-racism. The thesis begins by drawing together various, often atomised, sociological literatures to offer a ‘rearticulation’ of Islamophobia in relation to theories of race and racism.

Through a series of qualitative interviews with community workers and anti-racist activists in the two British cities of Manchester and Glasgow, the thesis explores how Islamophobia is understood amongst those engaging with the issue, and what these understandings mean for organised responses ‘on the ground’. It situates current resistance to Islamophobia historically, exploring how local histories and traditions of anti-racism shape responses to Islamophobia today.

The thesis utilises a multi-sited research methodology to draw out the differences and continuities between the two cities and emphasises the ‘relational’ (Goldberg 2009) nature of Islamophobia, racism and anti-racist work. It highlights the importance of ‘place’ (both civic and national) in shaping understandings of, and responses to, Islamophobia, and extends these discussions beyond England and into Scotland where research on such issues has been especially limited.

The thesis makes the case that the articulation of Islamophobia via culture, alongside the dominance of particular frameworks for making sense of racism, presents a particular challenge for anti-racists and left movements more broadly. The accounts of Muslim activists reveal important tensions between experiences, understandings, and organised responses, but also point towards resources for analysing and challenging the structures of power which reproduce and sustain Islamophobia in the current moment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Race, racism, Islamophobia, anti-racism, nationalism.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Virdee, Professor Satnam and Smith, Professor Andrew
Date of Award: 2020
Embargo Date: 2 December 2026
Depositing User: Miss Scarlet Harris
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81818
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2020 12:22
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 17:03
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81818

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