Smina Akhtar

Contact

s.akhtar.1@research.gla.ac.uk

 

ORCID iDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6900-6679

Research title: Experiences of and Resistance to State Racism in Scotland

Research Summary

I use a case study approach to examine how state racism is experienced and how communities do resistance. The case studies represent three different sites where state racism has featured in Scotland.  I pay attention to the specificity of scotland as a devolved nation within an imperial British state. I interrogate the significance of each in relation to how activists have defined and navigated their resistance using a social movements framework. 

  1. The Sheku Bayou Justice Campaign was established following the death of Sheku Bayoh a 31 year old Black man in Kirkcaldy whilst he was being arrested in the early hours of 3 May 2015. His family and friends established the campaign because they became suspicious of the different accounts of Sheku’s death given to them by the police.  My focus here is the role of the police and judiciary in the racialisation of black people which has been reproduced by the media. I interrogate the everyday processes of the repressive arm of the state in containing protest. 

  2. Serco is a private company contracted by the Home Office to house asylum seekers across the UK, including in Glasgow. In July 2018 Serco threatened to evict over 300 refugees in the asylum system from their accommodation in Glasgow.  A campaign to challenge the evictions was established almost immediately involving politicians, NGO’s and grass roots organizations. Here the state has used outsourcing to abdicate responsibility as well as enforce a neoliberal austerity to reinforced racialised dehumanisation of refugees. I look at what solidarity looks like in a devolved Scotland and how the resistance campaign defined their solidarity in relation to the state racism of the immigration and asylum system. 

  3. The education system has historically been used to do the ideological work of the state in the maintenance of hegemonic class relations. When Britain was a coloniser the education system was used to teach the masses to be loyal to the British Empire resulting in the erasure of the history of racism from the education system.  This case study will examine how working within a state institution impacts teachers experiences of racism and how they challenge it.          

 

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2020
Number of items: 1.

2020

Akhtar, S. (2020) Containment, activism and state racism: The Sheku Bayoh justice campaign. Identities, (doi: 10.1080/1070289X.2020.1813460) (Early Online Publication)

This list was generated on Sat Apr 10 02:59:35 2021 BST.
Jump to: Articles
Number of items: 1.

Articles

Akhtar, S. (2020) Containment, activism and state racism: The Sheku Bayoh justice campaign. Identities, (doi: 10.1080/1070289X.2020.1813460) (Early Online Publication)

This list was generated on Sat Apr 10 02:59:35 2021 BST.

Grants

June Milligan Scholarship 2020-2023

Conference

BSA 2018 Resisting State Racism; The Justice for Sheku Bayoh Campaign

I have helpted to organise a number of conferences and events including 

Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonialism (REPS) (2019)

Tackling Scotland's Racism Problem (2019)

International Conference on Border Abolition (2021)

Teaching

 Guest Lectures

Lectures on State Racism for Masters module on Racism and Modernity 2019 and Honours Sociology- Ethnographing 

Racism in 2020

Lecturer on summer school for international masters students 2018 and 2019

Graduate Teaching Assistant

(2018-19) Sociology 1A: Self & Society



 

Additional Information

I have over 20 years’ experience of doing community development work within the Scottish voluntary sector.

I have a BA (hons) Politics from the University of Strathclyde and a MSc in Urban Policy and Practice from the University of Glasgow.

Member of The Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia in Scotland.