Economic activity in the South-Asian population in Britain: the impact of ethnicity, religion, and class

Nabil Khattab*, Ron Johnston, Tariq Modood, Ibrahim Sirkeci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper expands the existing literature on ethnicity and economic activity in Britain by studying the impact of religion and class. It argues that while the class location of the different South-Asian groups is important in determining their labour market outcomes, it does not operate independently from ethnicity; rather it is highly influenced by ethnicity in the process of determining the labour market participation of these groups. We use data obtained from the 2001 UK Census on Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi men and women aged between twenty and twenty nine. Our findings confirm that class structure of the South-Asian groups is highly ethnicized, in that the ethno-religious background and class are interwoven to the extent that the separation between them is not easy, if not impossible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1466-1481
Number of pages16
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship


  • Britain
  • ethnicity
  • religion
  • labour market
  • economic activity
  • class

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