We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Transnational subjectivities: the practice of relatedness among British Pakistanis

Iqbal, Nazalie (2006) Transnational subjectivities: the practice of relatedness among British Pakistanis. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores the meaning and experience of local and transnational kin connections for Pakistani Muslims living in Teesside, United Kingdom. The thesis contributes to knowledge about 'the practice of kinship' in a transnational context. The attempt to combine an investigation of transnationalism with a study of how kin relations are conducted in the present day is one of the strengths of the work. The ethnography is based on eighteen months of fieldwork carried out among British Pakistani Muslims. It explores the domestic nature of transnationalism in kin connections that forms the experiential basis of global and local relationships. The research was undertaken with the cooperation of first, second and third-generation British Pakistanis living in the north east of England. Various ethnographic qualitative methods were used to collect data, including semi- structured interviews, life histories, participant observation and focus group discussions. demonstrates the complex interplay of gender, age, origin, kin connection and life-course events in creating variation in individuals' engagement with the transnational. I argue that during their migratory experiences many first and second-generation Pakistanis display new forms of' habits of meaning' or 'habitus' to cope with differences exposed in their transnational travels. The thesis is written from the perspective of local actors: people who identify themselves as Pakistani, British Pakistani and have a Pakistani-origin. Although the thesis attempts to foreground their perspectives and narratives, it is also infused with my open interpretation and analyses, which I attempt to distinguish from local 'emic' ones. I am much less interested in this thesis in generalising claims about British Pakistani migrants, than in local practices of British Pakistanis in Teesside. For British Pakistanis, transnational practices involve not only a particular post-colonial history, but also unique understandings of the meanings of birãdari (extended family), marriage and family life and the everyday practices in which the recipients of such global processes must live. The migration of Pakistanis into the United Kingdom however, has introduced volatile relationships between kin as new configurations of space, consumption and social reproduction are negotiated. A striking aspect of the lives of those whom I interviewed was the fact that most of them were in the process of acquiring new patterns of commodity consumption and desire. Narratives from parents and grandparents contain a 're-consciousness' of property relations revealing new ideas and practices about the importance of siblings and children in the new migratory context. Moreover, they form new self-definitions of fellow British Pakistanis and relatives living in Pakistan. It is these complex transnational reconfigurations (transnationalism, subjectivity, the meaning of ‘home' and relatedness) that comprise the main subject of the present thesis. However, this thesis spans several areas of anthropological interest: the practice of kinship and relatedness. South Asian migration, transnationalism, diaspora, intergenerational conflicts, nurturing practices, ethnicity and studies of ethnic minorities in Britain.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:34

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter