Daughters of Islam: Family Influences on Muslim Young Women's Participation in Sport

Tess Kay, Loughborough University, UK, t.a.kay@lboro.ac.uk

This article examines the significance of family influence on young women from minority (Muslim) communities who have participated in a combined sport and education programme designed to encourage access to further and higher education. The study explores how family expectations about the roles of young women affect the participants' responses to the programme. The research examines young women's understanding of their parents' views in relation to their participation in the programme and their broader aspirations for their daughters' adult lives in the family, education and employment domains. The young women's accounts of their family members' views on minority life in Britain, and the influence this might have on their own opportunities and experiences, are also considered. The research was conducted in partnership with a graduate female Muslim Sport and education development worker and with young female participants (n = 7) in the sports programme, all of whom were actively involved in the design, implementation and analysis of the study. The young women undertook in-depth interviews within their families, and responded to the content of these in subsequent focus group discussions. The study revealed extensive parental influence on the young women's involvement in the sports programme and over their lives as a whole, and the significance of Islam within this; however, it also highlighted the extent to which young people `navigated' between their family identity and the westernized experiences they were exposed to on a day-to-day basis. Conclusions are drawn about the value of sport in illuminating the lived experience of minority groups, and on the need for further analysis of young people's sports behaviour in the context of family.
sOURCE: http://irs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/3-4/357?rss=1