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Title: Being and belonging in Delhi : Afghan individuals and communities in a global city
Author: Warsi, Sahil K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 9583
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis considers what it means to be and belong as Afghan in Delhi today. It argues that Afghan belonging in Delhi must be understood as inherently multiple and articulated at different scales, and that this multiplicity must be further considered with regard to the varying influence of different conceptions of belonging in migrants' everyday life. Chapters one and two present the thesis' methodological and theoretical framework, bringing together anthropological research on Afghanistan with work on personhood, ontology, and ethics. The subsequent four ethnographic chapters explore ideas of Afghan belonging in Delhi at the scales of state, individual, and community. To frame the argument, chapter three presents the state scale understanding of Afghan migrants as individuals belonging to an Afghan community rooted in the territory of Afghanistan, whose story of migration determines the legality of their presence in Delhi. Chapters four and five turn to the individual scale to respectively demonstrate how complex and varied trajectories of movement belie facile categorization of migrants as legal or illegal, and how they shape and reflect Afghan migrants' diverse affective and material ties to the city. Chapter six depicts how this diversity is also articulated at the scale of community through a comparison of two Afghan communities in the city. The ethnography illustrates how despite the fact that Afghan migrants conceive of and express multiple ways of being and belonging in Delhi, how they inhabit the city is contingent on their access to financial and social resources, and thus indicative of wider issues of belonging and urban citizenship in Delhi today. While contributing to the study of Afghan migration and urban life in India, the thesis also adds to broader discussions of personhood and relatedness by bringing together insights from anthropological research on ontology, ethics, and morality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available