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A sociological study of Islamic social work in contemporary Britain

Warden, Rosalind 2013. A sociological study of Islamic social work in contemporary Britain. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Recent years have witnessed increasing interest in the topics of religion and spirituality in social work, including a small body of texts focusing on social work with Muslims. Alongside this, statistical evidence such as the 2001 Census has documented the socio-economic disadvantage experienced by many Muslims communities in Britain. However, there is a paucity of empirical research exploring grassroots initiatives developed by these communities to address welfare needs. There is also a dearth of research analysing the perspectives of Muslim service users. It is this lack of inquiry which this thesis addresses. This research centres on a case study of an Islamic organisation providing services including Islamic counselling, advocacy, khul divorces, mediation and chaplaincy. The study explores the construction of the organisation’s Islamic approach to social work, their everyday practices and areas of particular on-going negotiation. It draws on interviews with individuals working at the organisation, Muslim service users who have accessed the services and also external professionals who have referred individuals to the organisation. An exploration of the potential benefits for Muslim service users focuses on the counselling services provided to young women and asylum seekers in particular. The findings of the study highlight the opportunities and challenges experienced in the process of professionalising internal forms of support amongst British Muslim communities. This research has implications for three key areas of academic debate. Firstly, it contributes to the sociological study of religion, specifically to the field of British Muslim studies. Secondly, the thesis informs current discussion within the social work discipline, particularly regarding the role of spirituality when working with minority service users. Thirdly, this study contributes to contemporary debate regarding the role of faith groups providing welfare services. Overall, this research gives an original insight into the development of professional Islamic social work in contemporary Britain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
Funders: Jameel Scholarship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:02

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