"I would love people to realise that I call this my home"
: migrant Muslim women’s everyday visibility, movement and placemaking strategies in Northern Ireland

  • Amanda Lubit

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


My research with migrant Muslim women demonstrates the restrictions imposed upon women by widespread racialised gender stereotypesthat shape everyday experiences in Northern Ireland. This finding contradicts common narratives that consider the Islamic religion to be responsible for controllingthe bodies of Muslim women on the contrary, women experience significant restrictions to their visibility and movement due to institutionalised nationaland local attitudes, policies, and practices.

These forces result in an often hostile, xenophoblc, andracist environment. With these factors as a backdrop, this dissertation considers the strategies women employ and the places they inhabit when trying to make a place for themselves. These findings counteract and complexity common public and policy narratives of migrant Muslim women as perpetual outsiders.

While many factors Impact placemaking activities, I focus heavily upon visibility and movement as they most significantly affect: thestrategies women employ, and the spaces women inhabit. Using this approach, I demonstrate that women's experiences are diverse and affected by complex combinations offactors that obscure, limit, expand or alter their opportunities to connectwith people and places around them.

Much of my ethnography takes place within women-only spaces where women could be more mobile yet less visible. My findings highlight the gendered and embodied nature of strategies women employ as part of place making tactics. Specifically, they used a variety of subtle everyday movements (e.g.Islamic prayers, cooking, cleaning, exercise, and social Interaction) to claimspaces as their own.

Commonly migrants are considered to be in motion when moving across or within national borders, but still once they settle in a particular place. By focusing upon individuals' everyday bodily practices, I demonstrate that settlement (a time of seeming immobility) is actually characterised by diverse and complex types of movement that contribute to the development of relationships and placemaklng strategies.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 July 2026.
Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorEvi Chatzipanagiotidou (Supervisor) & Fiona Murphy (Supervisor)


  • Gender
  • visibility
  • movement
  • mobility
  • ]lacemaking
  • Muslim women
  • migration
  • refugees & asylum seekers
  • Northern Ireland

Cite this