In this public lecture, Dr Hoque examines and presents the lives and multifaceted identities of a group of young Bangladeshis from east London.
Qualitative research – involving predominantly group and in-depth one-to-one interviews – was undertaken with 16 young Bangladeshis aged 15–19. Two key findings emerge from this research. Firstly, the knotty and fluid concept of identity is important to these young people as their narratives demonstrate that they are negotiating meanings of what it means to be a British-born Bangladeshi Muslim. Secondly, through a detailed examination of two aspects of their multifaceted identity – the mother tongue and the hijab – this lecture argues that their identity problematic poses important questions for educational spaces.
One of the key conclusions of this lecture is that by embracing a culturally responsive model of education and exploring – however difficult and ethically challenging it may be – our pupils’ cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious identities within the curriculum can be meaningful and ultimately educational.