Exploring 'underachievement' among highly educated young British-Bangladeshi women

James Niven, Alessandra Faggian, Kanchana N. Ruwanpura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current mainstream wisdom portrays the young British-Bangladeshi community as underachieving in education. However, this study suggests that young British-Bangladeshi women tend to be high achievers in education. This research interrogates the multifaceted experiences of British-Bangladeshi women students to better understand the contested nature of their transition from educational achievement to labor market participation. The analysis draws on a combination of fieldwork done in two colleges in East London and Leeds in 2007 and secondary data collected by the Higher Education Statistical Agency on students who graduated from British higher education institutions in 2006. Although it focuses on the reality of young British-Bangladeshi women, the study shows that – especially for certain ethnic minorities – the absence of social resources, social networks, and egalitarian class relations can hamper the process of making good on educational achievements
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-136
Number of pages26
JournalFeminist Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2013


  • Education
  • Intersectionality
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Political Economy


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