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  Ethnicity, Class and Consumption - Continuity and change in ethnic minority cultural practice in the UK

   Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This research topic focuses on the intersections of ethnicity, class and consumption in contemporary British, and multi-ethnic spaces. In particular, the research will explore not only aspects which demonstrate changes in modes and patterns of consumption within settled and recently arrived ethnic minority communities, but also assess the extent to which some elements of cultural practice remain. By doing so, this research helps offer greater context around notions of belonging, citizenship and how identities are more accurately framed and examined through the overlapping lenses of class, locale, gender, age and taste.

Specific, though not exclusive sites of cultural practice may include, for example, weddings/marriage rituals and traditions, changes in dining culture, the consumption of media (film, music, literature, etc) as well as homes and their and renovations. This project hinges on identifying unusual, but also banal, zones of class and ethnic practice within the broader context of multi-ethnic cities.

This project invites potential candidates to explore the relationship(s) between modes of consumption and markers of identity, in particular class and ethnicity. We are open to how potential candidates may wish to locate their work in terms of space and place or,  indeed, how they would prefer to define the key conceptual and discursive aspects of their research. There is an expectation that candidates should be familiar with qualitative methodological approaches which help to generate data that are textured, highly nuanced and meaningful to both academic and wider audiences. This project will be supervised by a team with a significant amount of expertise and experience in investigating how ethnic relations intersect with other markers of identity including class, religion and gender. For example, in Alam’s relatively recent work (2024, 2022, 2020, 2016), the salience of the car as a means of projecting particular attributes associated with criminality and deviance is couched within a broader framework in which class, integration and Islamophobia operate in both sophisticated and unusual ways. Conversely, Chaudry (forthcoming) has examined how sporting practices, such as partaking in boxing, disrupt ‘archetypal’ constructions of identity, in particular, gendered, classed and cultural expectations vis-à-vis the trajectories of young people. This project, therefore, welcomes novel and innovative proposals from prospective candidates in order to explore cultural practices through which consumption and identity formation symbiotically operate. An illustrative list includes (but is not limited to), sports, leisure, family and community practices, media, music, gaming or food.

How to apply

Formal applications can be made via the University of Bradford web site.

Communication & Media Studies (7) Languages, Literature & Culture (21) Medicine (26) Politics & Government (30) Sociology (32)

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD project; applicants will be expected to pay their own fees or have a suitable source of third-party funding. UK/EU applicants may be able to access the Doctoral Loan from Student Finance.


Alam, Y. and Chambers, C. (2024) Gender and British Muslim Asian Arts. Bristol: Policy Press.
Alam, Y. (2022) ‘Street racing and Joyriding’, in Atkinson, R. and Ayres, T. (eds) (2022) Shades of Deviance: A Primer on Crime, Deviance and Social Harm, 2nd edition. Abingdon: Routledge.
Alam, Y. (2020) Race, Taste, Class and Cars. Bristol: Policy Press.
Alam, Y. (2016) ‘Automatic transmission: ethnicity, racialization and the car’, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 25(3), 284-301.
Chaudry, I. (Forthcoming) Beyond the Boxing Ropes: BrAsian Family Practices and Reflexivity. London: Routledge.

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