Implications of Citizenship Discourse on Female Labour Force Participation: A Case Study of Bangladeshi Women in the UK

Implications of Citizenship Discourse on Female Labour Force Participation: A Case Study of Bangladeshi Women in the UK

Masreka Khan (Erciyes University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0225-8.ch002
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Immigrant women's labour market participation remains a long standing concern in the context of developed countries. Bangladeshi women are persistently reported to be one of the lowest participant groups in formal labour market in the UK. Where there is plethora of research to point out this fact, hardly any persuasive explanation is offered to unfold the phenomenon. The intrinsic bond between the rhetoric of citizenship and identities as immigrant is blurred in the surge of literatures. In this milieu, present chapter contributes to develop the understanding of the complex notion of citizenship and its implication in labour market participation, broadly on immigrant women and narrowly on Bangladeshi immigrant women. It reveals how ‘identity shaped by citizenship discourse' influences one of the important indicators of economic empowerment - market participation.
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Theoretical Approaches: Citizenship, Discourses, And Migration

The subject matter of citizenship, discourses and migration are contributed by several disciplines. When analyzing critically, particularly the case of female labour force participation, the interconnection of these three concepts are undeniable. As these three concepts cement the ground of this chapter, a brief discussion on different perspectives will channel better understanding.

Citizenship is a concept without any universal definition though defined variously. It is described as a momentum concept by Hoffman (2004). One of the most celebrated definitions is “Citizenship is a way of defining personhood which links rights and agency” (Kabeer, 2006, p. 1). As increasingly contributed by scholars from different disciplines, it is more evident than ever that, citizenship is more about invisible social structures with implications on group or individual's identities and related concerns. In the Handbook of Citizenship Studies, it is identified with an emphasis on ''less on legal rules and more on norms, practices, meanings, and identities'' (Isin & Turner, 2002, p. 4).

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