Understanding how Izzat impacts the lived experience of Young Muslim Pakistan Women in the UK: A Phenomenological Approach

Prof Doc Thesis

Gunasinge, Cerisse 2015. Understanding how Izzat impacts the lived experience of Young Muslim Pakistan Women in the UK: A Phenomenological Approach. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.4130
AuthorsGunasinge, Cerisse
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Literature has documented how cultural practices, (in particular izzat), impact the day-to-day lived experiences of South Asian women. It is evident that such beliefs and value-systems can affect the psychological well-being and experiences of distress of these individuals.
This study intended to explore how six young second generation Pakistani Muslim women understand izzat, what role if any, it has in their lives and whether there is an interplay between upholding the cultural codes and the participants' help-seeking strategies for psychological distress.
A qualitative research method was adopted whereby semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcribed. The data was collected and analysed through the use of an Interpretative Phenomenological Analytic framework. Analysis of the interview transcripts identified three main themes: - 1) Upholding the Rules of Izzat, 2) Speaking Out/Getting Help and 3) Negotiating Tensions.
In conclusion, the study findings highlighted the various ways in which izzat was interpreted by the participants and the implications these cultural codes have for strategies in managing or the silencing of psychological distress. Interviews with the study participants also illustrate the dilemmas and tensions that the participants experience when considering codes of izzat (personal and familial) and how these are negotiated to enable young Pakistani women to self-manage or seek help when experiencing psychological distress. The analysis also highlights possible life experiences that might lead to self-harm and attempted suicide in young Pakistani Muslim women. It was noted that cultural practices of izzat appear to vary over time
as individuals are exposed to alternative cultural practices or coping strategies, yet can also be mediated by and individual’s country of birth or residence.
The findings were found to support and advance existing research, which suggests that codes of izzat mediate the resources and help-seeking strategies Pakistani Muslim women utilise to maintain and manage their psychological well-being. Suggestions for further research and implications for practice are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.4130
Publication dates
Print01 Mar 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Mar 2015
Publisher's version
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