South Asian Communities

Families and caring in South Asian communities

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Over the next 20 years the proportion of older people living within Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities in the UK will significantly increase. However, there is limited empirical evidence about the lived experiences, social networks and family lives of people growing older within these transnational communities. In particular, we understand little about the interconnections between gender, ethnicity, ‘place’ and ageing.


  • Christina Victor, Brunel University
  • Wendy Martin, Brunel University


  • Maria Zubair, University of Reading

Contact details


Our focus in this research project is to document the changing nature of family lives, care and support, social networks, and everyday lives of older people in Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities by exploring participants:

  • social identities and levels of participation in transnational and local communities;
  • perceptions and experiences of family lives, social networks, ‘place’ and locality; and
  • ideas, meanings and experiences of ‘care’ and ‘support’


The data collection methods will involve the interconnection of in-depth interviews and visual/written diaries with a diverse group of 60 men and 60 women aged 50 years and over from Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities living in the UK. Data will be thematically analyzed using Atlas Ti. A participatory approach will be taken throughout the research process to ensure that the perspectives and concerns of the participants are central. The research therefore aims to elicit important insights into the daily and family lives of Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities living in the UK that can help inform policy and practice

Policy implications

  • to generate new knowledge about ageing in South Asian communities, and identify factors that contribute (or not) to ‘ageing well’ within a group that has been significantly under-represented in previous research
  • to promote an understanding of the perspectives of South Asian people as they grow older that can inform the development of culturally appropriate policy and practice, for example, in relation to issues of diversity and increasing participation.
  • to promote an understanding about the dynamic processes of families, social networks and experiences of everyday life that can help both policymakers and practitioners develop and deliver effective and appropriate policies and services.
  • to develop effective and participatory methodologies with our South Asian community groups, thereby contributing to our knowledge about participation, advocacy, collaboration and user perspectives.
  • to help to create a new generation of ‘ageing’ researchers drawn from an important minority group, thereby, contributing to the development of our future research capacity in ageing.

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