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MEMORY, HISTORY, IDENTITY: Narratives of Partition, Migration, and Settlement among South Asian Communities of South Wales

Sequeira, Samuel 2016. MEMORY, HISTORY, IDENTITY: Narratives of Partition, Migration, and Settlement among South Asian Communities of South Wales. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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In Britain today, as well as in all the developed Western countries, more than ever immigration discourse occupies priority space in society, politics, and media. The concern with immigration, the Diaspora of the Other, has reached such a point of shrill and racist political discourse, the public political fora have managed to gain substantial support for this cause from their voting citizens. In this game of socio-political power the entire discourse is mainly focused around economic migrants. All migrants, here, are lumped under the exclusionary and racist discourse ignoring completely the myriad complexities of migrants’ background, the structural reasons for their migration, and the substantial economic contribution they make to the countries where they settle down. Lacking political and media power to counter or influence these hostile discourses, immigrants, as minorities, are victims of racist, xenophobic, and exclusionary political practices and, in their own turn, have desperate recourse to their past in order to construct a global minority identity. Against such a discursive background, my research among the South Asian immigrants in South Wales in UK has provided an alternative and delicately nuanced way of understanding migration in general and migration to UK in particular. The narratives based on the individual and collective memories of British India Partition in 1947 and its aftermath, the many routes which their migration took, and the experiences of their settling down in South Wales offer a very unique glimpse into their migratory experience and eventual identity evolution. Given the historical role Great Britain as the colonial power played in their migration I argue that Britain owes its immigrant citizens the respect they deserve, value their forebears’ contribution in its colonial and global wars and post-war economic rebuilding, and their continued, creative contribution to British economy, society, culture and its own multicultural identity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Funders: AHRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2017 02:30

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