• Examining the sociocultural impacts of consanguinity and implications for healthcare : a case study of Pakistanis in Luton

      Ajaz, Mubasshir (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-07)
      This thesis aims to understand the sociocultural aspects of the practice of consanguinity and the implications for healthcare. Consanguinity refers to intra-familial marriage and is commonly used to refer to cousin marriage. While consanguinity remains a global phenomenon, in the recent past, it has mostly been associated with non-Western populations, and has become a taboo in Western culture. Consanguinity is linked with negative health outcomes, mostly due to genetic disorders, although the extent of this link remains debatable. In the UK, consanguinity is linked mostly with the Pakistani community, which also have an overrepresentation of children with genetic disorders. In Luton, local health reports have suggested that consanguinity in the large Pakistani community plays a role in increased infant deaths. This makes Luton and the local Pakistani community, ideally placed for understanding the practice of consanguinity and the implications for healthcare. This thesis is conceptually grounded within a constructionist approach to understanding consanguinity with a critical analysis based on theories of discourse and power and knowledge. A qualitative research design was employed using an instrumental case study approach which focused on understanding consanguinity through Luton’s Pakistani community. Three main sample groups were selected, members of the Pakistani community who are not married to their cousins and are defined as lay members in this research, members of the Pakistani community in consanguineous marriages, and local service providers (primary and secondary care).