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Ismaili women’s experiences of in-group discrimination Mohamed, Shamsah J.


The Ismā’ īlīs in Vancouver, Canada at the present time are a religious group mainly from a South Asian ethnic background also sometimes referred to as Khōja Ismā’ īlīs. The purpose of this study is to illuminate the experiences of Ismā’ īlīs women who were identified as marginalized from the Ismā’ īlīs community (e.g., they may not attend the Jama'at Khana on a regular basis, or they may have chosen to have limited contact within the community). In-group discrimination occurs through interactions with other members of the same community. Experiences of different forms of in-group discrimination were explored through in-depth interviews with six adult Ismā’ īlīs women, aged 24 to 45, who immigrated to Canada within the last 30 years and who currently reside in Vancouver. The study used a multicase design and followed the constant comparative method of data analysis. Results revealed nine themes of discrimination; five causes or forms of discrimination, and four consequences or outcomes. In addition, the context in which the discrimination occurs, recommendations for the community, and positive aspects of the faith and religion as interpreted by the participants were presented. The results indicated that the women's experiences contained examples of in-group discrimination that ranged from classism to physical abuse; and reflected both structural and functional themes of discrimination.

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