Professor Alison Shaw

alison shaw

Professor of Social Anthropology

Alison Shaw's research interests are in the anthropology of medical genetics and genetic screening; consanguineous marriage; Pakistan/South Asia; migration, health and transnational cultural movements.

Contact Information

Email: alison.shaw@anthro.ox.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1865 612386

Office: The Pauling Centre,
58a, Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS

Brief biography

Alison Shaw's first fieldwork in Pakistan and the UK in the early 1980s resulted in a pioneering study of British Pakistani practices of transnational kinship and marriage.   She updated her original monograph with fieldwork conducted in the 1990s, published as Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani families in Britain (2000).  She then conducted fieldwork with British Pakistani families with children with genetic problems: Negotiating Risk: British Pakistani experiences of genetics  (2009) examines discrepancies between patients' and clinicians' understandings of genetic risk and inheritance in the context of referrals to medical genetics. She has also taught Urdu professionally and trained teachers of Urdu in adult education. Recently, she has worked on a comparative examination of the social, political and health impact of discourses of genetic risk in consanguineous marriage in Europe, South Asia and the Middle East: Cousin Marriages: between tradition, genetic risk, and cultural change (2015)
 

Current DPhil students

Cecilie Mueenuddin
Aneel Brah

Brief CV

Academic Qualifications

B.A. Human Sciences, University of Oxford 1979
D. Phil, Social Anthropology, University of Oxford 1984

Appointments

2016    Adjunct Professor, UCLA
2014    Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford.
2009    Senior Associate Fellow, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
2004    Senior Research Fellow, NDPH, University of Oxford.
1997    Lecturer, Dept. of Human Sciences, Brunel University.
1997    Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Oxford Brookes University.
1993    Tutor in Social Anthropology, University of Oxford.
1991    Lecturer, Contemporary Issues in Anthropology, Goldsmith's College, University of London.
1984    Director, Asian Language Development Project, Oxfordshire Council for Community Relations (until 1988).

 

Shaw, A. and Raz, A. (eds.)  2015. Cousin marriages: between tradition, genetic risk and cultural change. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books.

Shaw, A. 2014. Rituals of infant death: defining life and Islamic personhood.
Bioethics. Volume 28, Issue 2, pp. 84-95. DOI: 10.1111/bioe.12047

Shaw, A. 2011. Risk and reproductive decisions: British Pakistani couples’ responses to genetic counselingSocial Science and Medicine, 73:111-120. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.04.011

Shaw, A.  2009. Negotiating Risk: British Pakistani Experiences of Genetics. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books.

Shaw, A.  2000. Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani families in Britain. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Harwood Academic Publishers.

​BOOKS

​Shaw, A. and Raz, A. (eds.)  2015. Cousin marriages: between tradition, genetic risk and cultural change. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books.

Shaw, A.  2009. Negotiating Risk: British Pakistani Experiences of Genetics. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books.

Shaw, A. and Ardener, S. (eds.) 2005 Changing Sex and Bending Gender. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books.

Shaw, A.  2000. Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani families in Britain. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Harwood Academic Publishers.

Shaw, A.  1991.  Teachers’ Guide, for Ralph Russell’s A New Course in Urdu and Spoken Hindi for learners in Britain. London: SOAS.

Shaw, A.  1989. Get by in Hindi and Urdu: a quick beginners’ course for work and travel.  London: BBC Books.

Shaw, A.  1988.  A Pakistani Community in Britain. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

RESEARCH PAPERS (Peer Reviewed)

Bhatnagar, P., Shaw, A. and Foster, C. 2015. Generational differences in the physical activity of UK South Asians: a systematic reviewInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12: 96. doi: 10.1186/s12966-015- 0255-8

Bhatnagar, P., Townsend, N., Shaw, A. and Foster,C. 2015. The physical activity profiles of South Asian ethnic groups in EnglandJ Epidemiol Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech-2015- 206455

Shaw, A. 2014. Rituals of infant death: defining life and Islamic personhoodBioethics. Volume 28, Issue 2, pp. 84-95. DOI: 10.1111/bioe.12047

Qureshi, K, Charsley, K and Shaw, A. 2012. Marital instability among British Pakistanis: transnationality, conjugalities and IslamJ Ethnic and Migration Studies.
10.1080/01419870.2012.720691

Shaw, A. 2011. Risk and reproductive decisions: British Pakistani couples’ responses to genetic counsellingSocial Science and Medicine, Volume 73 (1), pp:111-120. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.04.011

Shaw, A. 2012. "They say Islam has a solution for everything, so why are there no guidelines for this?" Ethical dilemmas associated with the births and deaths of infants with fatal abnormalities from a small sample of Pakistani Muslim couples in BritainBioethics. Volume 26, Issue 9, pp. 485-492.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01883.x

Shaw, A. and Hurst, J. 2009. "I don't see any point in telling them": Attitudes to sharing genetic information in the family and carrier testing of relatives among British Pakistani adults referred to a genetics clinicEthnicity and Health, Vol. 14, no 2, pp. 205-224.

Shaw, A. and Hurst, J.A. 2008. "What is this genetics, anyway?": Understandings of genetics, illness causality and inheritance among British Pakistani users of genetic servicesJ. Genetic Counseling. 17 (4): 373-382.

Shaw, A. 2006. British Pakistani arranged transnational cousin marriages: critique, dissent and cultural continuity. Contemporary South Asia, Special issue: The British South Asian Experience, Guest Eds. J. Brown and I. Talbot, pp. 211-222.

Shaw, A. and Charsley, K. 2006. Rishtas: adding emotion to strategy in understanding British Pakistani transnational marriages, Global Networks, 6, 4, 405-421.

Shaw, A. and Ahmed, M. 2004. Translating genetic information into languages other than English: lessons from an assessment of Urdu leaflets. Journal of Genetic Counseling, Vol. 13, No. 4, August, pp. 321-342.

Shaw, A. 2003. Interpreting images: diagnostic skill in the genetics clinic. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) Vol. 9, No 1, pp. 39-55.

Shaw, A., Latimer, J., Atkinson, P., and Featherstone, K. 2003 Surveying ‘slides’: clinical perception and clinical judgment in the construction of a genetic diagnosis. New Genetics and Society, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 3-19.

Shaw, A. 2001. Kinship, cultural preference and immigration: consanguineous marriage among British Pakistanis. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 7, No 1, 315-334. doi: 10.1111/1467-9655.00065

Charsley, K and Shaw, A. 2006. South Asian Transnational Marriages in Comparative Perspective. Global Networks, 6, 4, 331-344.

CHAPTERS

​Shaw, A. August 2016. Genetic Counselling for Muslim Families of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Origin in Britain. In: Encyclopia of Life Sciences, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester. doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005938.pub3

Shaw, A. 2015. 'Ethnic Communities, Professions and Practices', the Introduction to 'PartIII: ARTs and Professional Practice'; of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the Third Phase:Global Encounters and Emerging Moral Worlds, edited by R. Simpson and K. Hampshire. Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Shaw, A. 2014. Ethnic diversity in the UK: family forms and conjugality. Chapter 9 ofWiley-Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families edited by J. Treas, J. Scott and M. Richards. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., pp.176-193.

Barber, R. and A. Shaw. 2013. Social aspects of using reproductive technology. Chapter 19 of K. Coward and D. Wells (eds.) Textbook of Clinical Embryology, Cambridge: C.U. P.

Shaw, A. 2013. Afterword, In: S. Rozario. Genetic Disorders and Islamic Identity amongBritish Bangladeshis. Durham, N.C: Carolina Academic Press. Ethnographic Studies in Medical Anthropology Series.

Shaw, A. and J. Hurst. 2012. Ideas about the causes of Inherited Illness among British Pakistani users of genetic services. In: Dhavendra, K. (ed.) Genomics and Health in the Developing World, Oxford University Press.

Harriss, K and A. Shaw. 2010. Migration, family and British social policy in the late 20th century: British Pakistani perspectives. In: Fink, J. and Lundqvist, Å. (eds.) Changing Relations of Welfare: Family, Gender and Migration in Britain and Scandinavia. Aldershot: Ashgate. [Earlier version published in Swedish, In: Fink, J. and Lundqvist, Å. (eds.) (2009) Välfärd, Genus och Familj, Malmö: Liber.]

Shaw, A. 2009 (September) Genetic Counselling for Muslim Families of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Origin in Britain. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd: Chichester doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0005938.pub2

​Harriss, K and A. Shaw. (2009) Kinship obligations, gender and the life course: re-writing migration from Pakistan to Britain, in V. Kalra (ed), Pakistani Diasporas: Culture, Conflict, and Change. Oxford University press, Karachi, pp. 105-128.

Shaw, A. 2007. ‘Pakistanier in Groβbritannien seit den 1950 edr Jahren’ Enzyklopä die Migration in Europe. Vom 17. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart. K. J. Bade, P. C. Emmer, L. Lucassen and J. Oltmer (eds.), Munich: Schöningh and Fink, 838-843.

Harriss, K. and A. Shaw. 2006. Family care and transnational kinship: British Pakistani experiences. Chapter 13 of Kinship Matters, F. Ebtehaj, M. Richards, B. Lindley, et al (eds.), Cambridge: Hart Publishers, 259-274.

Shaw, A. 2006. The contingency of the ‘genetic link’ in constructions of kinship andinheritance: an anthropological perspective. In: Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice, J. Spencer and A. Pedain (eds.), Cambridge: Hart Publishers, pp.73-90.

Shaw, A. 2005. Changing Sex and Bending Gender: An Introduction. Chapter 1 of Changing Sex and Bending GenderShaw, A. and Ardener, S. (eds.), Oxford/New York:Berghahn Books, 1-19.

Shaw, A. 2005. Is it a boy, or a girl? The challenges of genital ambiguity. Chapter 2 of Changing Sex and Bending GenderShaw, A. and Ardener, S. (eds.), Oxford:Berghahn, 20-38.

Shaw, A. 2005. British Pakistani elderly without children: an invisible minority. Chapter 7 of Ageing without Children: European and Asian perspectives on elderly access to support networks, P. Kreager and E. Shroeder-Butterfill (eds.), Oxford/NewYork, Berghahn Books, 198-222.

Shaw, A. 2004. Attitudes to genetic diagnosis and to the use of medical technologies in pregnancy: some British Pakistani perspectives, Chapter 1 of M. Unnithan-Kumar (ed), Reproductive Agency, Medicine and the State: Cultural Transformations in Childbearing. Oxford, Berghahn Books.

Shaw, A. 2003. Genetic counseling for Muslim families of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin in Britain. The Encyclopedia of the Human Genome, Nature Publishing Group, 762-766.

Shaw, A. 2003. Immigrant Families in the U.K, Chapter 16 of J. Treas (Univ. of California), J.Scott (Univ. of Cambridge), and M. Richards (Univ. of Cambridge) (eds.), Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 270-286.

Shaw, A. 2000. Conflicting models of risk: clinical genetics and British Pakistanis, In: Caplan,P. (ed.) Risk Revisited, London: Pluto Press, pp. 85-107.

Shaw, A. 1997. Women, the household and family ties: Pakistani migrants in Britain. In: Donnan, H and Selier, F. (eds.) Inside the household: family and gender in Pakistan. Delhi:Hindustan Press, chapter 6, pp. 132-155.

Shaw, A. 1994. The Pakistani Community in Oxford. In: Ballard, R. (ed.) Desh Pardesh: the South Asian presence in Britain. London: Hurst and Company, pp. 35-57.

Shaw, A. 1991. The making of a Pakistani community leader. In: S. Vertovec, (ed.) Aspects of the South Asian diaspora. Oxford University Papers on India, Vol. 2 No. 2, Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 112-131.

CHAPTERS IN PRESS

Shaw, A. Medical Genetics and Genetic Screening. Wiley-Blackwell's International
Encyclopedia of Anthropology
, under the general editorship of Hilary Callan, former Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

REVIEWS

Shaw A. 2014. "Representing risks: Media reports on consanguineous relationships among British Pakistanis deflect from measured discussions around genetic risks", in: 'Diaspora: Southasia abroad', Himal Southasian: a review magazine of politics and culture, Vol. 27 No. 4, 86-95.

Shaw, A. 2014. 'The drivers of cousin marriage among British Pakistanis', review invited by editors Alan Bittles and Giovanni Romeo, for a special issue on 'Consanguinity in the Contemporary World', Human Heredity, 77: 26-36. doi:10.1159/000358011

Hanamy, H., Antonarakis, S.E., Cavali-Sforza, L.L., Tentamy, S., Romeo, G., Ten Kate L.P., Bennett, R. L., Shaw, A., et al. 2011. Consanguineous marriages, pearls and perils: Geneva International Consanguinity Workshop Report. Genetics in Medicine, DOI:10.1097/GIM.Ob013e318217477f

Shaw, A.  2009 (August). Ralph Russell and teaching Urdu to English-speaking adults in the community. Annual of Urdu Studies, Volume 24, pp. 249-263.

TRANSLATIONS

‘Maagi’, a short story by Qudratullah Shahab, translation by Alison Shaw and Mohammad Talib, published in Himal Southasian, 30 September 2016, pp.256-269, Jagadamba Press, Lalitpur, Nepal. ISBN: 978-9937-8926-1.

'A good son', a short story by Safia Siddiqi, translation by Alison Shaw and Mohammad Talib, published in himalmag.com, 7 January 2015, as part of Himal Southasian's Web-exclusive series complementing 'Diaspora: South Asia Abroad'.

'Community leader', a short story by Safia Siddiqi, translation by Alison Shaw and Mohammad Talib, published in himalmag.com, 9 January 2015, as part of Himal Southasian's Web-exclusive series complementing 'Diaspora: South Asia Abroad'.

List of site pages