Item Details

Trapped in Poverty?: A Study of Transient and Persisting Factors for Muslim Disadvantages in the UK

Issue: Vol 11 No. 2 (2015)

Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Islamic Studies

DOI: 10.1558/cis.33637


This article examines the prevalence and causes of religious poverty in contemporary UK society, with particular attention to the experience of British Muslims living in relative poverty. Using the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), the authors find a marked incidence of poverty among Muslims, a stronger religious than ethnic association with poverty, and a salient intergenerational improvement in Muslim vulnerability to poverty. The article proposes a framework of degrees of transience as a means of maximising analytical utility while minimising essentialist presuppositions. By integrating this approach into more general discussions of religion, poverty, and social capital, this article explores potential factors affecting the life-chances of British Muslims today. It brings these findings into dialogue with established sociological theories which have historically focused primarily on North American Christian populations. In the process, it contributes to debates on the usefulness of ethnic and religious categories in quantitative research.

Author: Anthony Heath, Yaojun Li, Tom Woerner-Powell

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