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Title: Identity, belonging and political activism in the Sri Lankan communities in Germany
Author: Told, Michaela R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 6620
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2014
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This research examines the dynamic relationship of Sinhalese and Tamils living in Germany in regards to their home and host country, and seeks to better understand the complexities of their political involvement. The research is based on qualitative research methodologies. The author conducted 30 interviews in Berlin during the period 2006–2008 to inform this research. The research not only provides an overview of the historical contexts of Sri Lanka and Germany, it also links these histories with the processes of outmigration from Sri Lanka and in-migration to Germany. It then continues to analyse the construction of belonging in the context of the Sri Lankan diaspora communities in Berlin. The research examines how far concepts of home, citizenship, nationalism and identity construction shape the sense of belonging of first and second generation Sinhalese and Tamils in Berlin. Finally, it analyses the ways the members of the Sri Lankan diaspora communities engage in economic, political, social, cultural and virtual activities in the home and host country, and how far these activities shape belonging and are politically motivated. The research also considers and studies the gendered nature of belonging and transnational political practices. The research uniquely combines the study of the Tamil diaspora with the study of the Sinhalese diaspora in Berlin. It allows new insights into the complex and multiple constructions of belonging and identity and into the interplay of gender, ethnicity and generations, and it highlights the importance of political activism in the conceptualization of belonging.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available