South Asian communities


  • Christina Victor, Brunel University

  • Wendy Martin, Brunel University


Maria Zubair, University of Reading


Christina Victor

Wendy Martin

Aims and objectives

Our focus in this research project was 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

  • ideas, meanings and experiences of ‘care’ and ‘support’


The data collection methods involved 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 was thematically analysed using Atlas Ti. A participatory approach was taken throughout the research process to ensure that the perspectives and concerns of the participants were central.

The research therefore aimed 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

The policy implications were

  • 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