Accessibility statement

Zainab Maqbool


  • PhD Sociology (in progress), University of York
  • MA Social Media Social Research, 2019, University of York
  • BA Sociology (First class hons), 2018, University of York

Zainab is currently working on her PhD research looking at the everyday lived realities of faith among mixed ethnic women who have a kin connection to Islam. 

As an undergraduate student Zainab developed an interest in divisions and inequalities, and particularly in faith and ethnicity . Her masters dissertation focussed on the experiences of mixed ethnic women, who have a kin connection to Islam, on social media, in particular how they manage the range of cultural and social expectations they face. This led Zainab to develop the idea for her PhD thesis. 

Following her Masters Zainab secured the White Rose Doctoral Training Programme studentship. Her research uses creative and innovative methods including, photo elicitation and walking interviews to explore how Islam plays out in mixed ethnic women’s lives. At the heart of this research 

is an emphasis on uncovering the ‘lived experiences’ of faith in people's lives and moving beyond binaries that have long been associated with identity, particularly religion.

During her PhD Zainab has secured a range of social research work experience:

  • Department for Work and Pensions, Income Analysis Team, Data Analyst, 3 month internship (March -July 2020) 
    During this placement Zainab worked on high-priority projects (including, developing new measurements for poverty), within policy analysis teams whilst working closely with policy makers and operational decision-makers. 
  • Department for Education, evaluations led by the Universities of Oxford and York Consortium between 2017 and 2020 exploring the experiences of young people in care and care leavers: The House Project 2 - & Break Staying close staying connected -


Zainab’s research interests include mixed ethnicity and faith identity as well as people's relationship with urban space.  She is also interested in  using creative, participant-led methods to give minority groups a voice.

Zainab is currently working on PhD research, supervised by Dr Gareth Millington and Dr Anna Strhan. She is conducting a mixed-method qualitative study (using interviews, photo elicitation and walking interviews), investigating how Islam intersects with mixed-ethnicities. She is interested in:

  • How mixed-ethnic women experience Islam in their transition from childhood to adulthood
  • How the mixed-ethnic women relate to the common perception of faith membership as a binary
  • How mixed-ethnic women interact with and relate to their town’s histories, spaces and communities



Zainab has worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant on 1st year undergraduate module Cultivating a Sociological Imagination (Department of Sociology) and Social Research methods (Department of Geography)


Contact details

Zainab Maqbool
PhD Student
Department of Sociology
University of York