Young Qatari womens’ practices and mobilites in London
Dr Don Slater (Department of Sociology)
Practice Theory; Ethnography; Consumption; Gender and the City; Affective Arrangements; Mobilities
This project is developed to provide a description and analysis of the embodied practices of young Qatari women and their significance in London. I will consider what knowledge is created to allow women to balance often contradictory expectations of morality. This means negotiating an existence which has a traditional expectation of being hidden away, but also understanding that women must also represent their background and extended family through a degree of conspicuous consumption. These requirements seem to be mutually exclusive in theory, but it appears that most women find them compatible. This project aims to contribute to the understanding of power and agency through an insight into reputation and social control. I build on practice theory to understand how lived experiences of home, identity and place are embodied in practice. This also entails demonstrating how women are socialised to participate in their own regulation, self- discipline and policing, but also how they challenge this regulation through ‘mundane’ acts of rebellion. I aim to complement mobility literature by analysing self-imposed regulation on mobility from the perspective of women in a restrictive community. I pose the question of what types of mobilities sociologists study, and argue that this project is non-paradigmatic as I am not looking at migrants, refugees or tourists, but a different type of movement of people. Finally, through analysing social control and scrutiny, I aim to engage with the nuances of boundary making in close-knit groups.