A new research project involving the Consumer Behaviour knowledge cluster aims to inspire new ways of building links between ethnic minority groups. The project team will explore the inter-generational differences of British Muslims with a Pakistani, Indian or Bengali background through traditional gift-giving practices.
Researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the differences through the years to provide insights into if any changes in cultural traditions and behaviours are taking place.
Results from the project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, could then help develop community engagement strategies through greater understanding of ethnic minority groups.
Cluster leader Dr Amna Khan elaborated upon the need for undertaking the project:
Many people in the community felt that post-911, Muslims had received a lot of negative publicity.
There was limited information which acknowledged the contribution they made to communities and society in general. So a project which explored how they gave gifts to people within their community and outside their community was developed.
Britain is a multicultural society with many different ethnic groups and cultures. To make a society work together it is important to understand the diverse cultures and behaviours.
This study is important as it gives insights how communities can work together through the act of gift giving.
To collect the data, the plan is to conduct 90 oral interviews in community centres throughout the North West and build links with residents. The findings will be shared with people of all ages groups at the Manchester Mega Mela 2015, through activities such as story telling corner, quizzes, interactive displays and audios.
The interviews will be stored in the North West Sound Archive. Transcripts and some copies will be housed in Manchester’s Central Library. The story book will be displayed in the community centres involved in the project.
For more information about the project, please visit http://giftgivingresearch.co.uk.