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 Laura Jones

Laura Jones

Research student

Welsh speaking

Laura Jones is in the first year of a PhD project looking at Muslim experiences of Ramadan (the month of fasting) in contemporary Britain. Her research will be one of the first in the UK to focus specifically on Ramadan. She aims to use a diary-based and other ethnographic, qualitative methods and look at the significance of the holy month, media coverage of the occasion, the place of Muslims and Ramadan in the public sphere, and Muslim outreach to wider British society during Ramadan.

Research interests

  • Islam in contemporary Britain
  • Religion in the public sphere
  • Muslims and the media
  • Interfaith studies
  • Social theory
    • Subaltern counterpublics (Fraser 1992)
    • Geertz - significance, thick description

Thesis

Observing Ramadan in Britain (provisional title)

Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and something that is maintained by a diverse range of Muslims, even those who may be considered ‘less practising’ in other respects. It is an occasion which has gained attention in the mainstream media, with news coverage and specific radio and TV programmes broadcast during the month; in the commercial sector, with supermarkets offering Ramadan promotions; and in politics, with politicians delivering Ramadan greetings. Despite this, academic literature on Ramadan in the UK is sparse, thus the reason for this study.


I will explore the significance and experience of Ramadan for British Muslims primarily by
analysing Ramadan diaries of research participants. I also hope to undertake ethnographic observation of Ramadan events and activities to capture communal aspects of the month. The study aims to shed light not only on how Muslims observe and practice the month, but how the month is ‘observed’ by wider
society through, for example, the media and initiatives where Muslims reach out to non-Muslims during Ramadan.

Funding source

Jameel Scholarship

Sophie Gilliat-Ray

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray

Professor in Religious and Theological Studies, Director for the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK (Islam-UK)

Michael Munnik

Dr Michael Munnik

Lecturer in Social Science Theories and Methods

Areas of expertise