Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Narratives of exile and identity : experiences of Turkish and Greek Cypriot refugees in Cyprus and London
Author: Nassari, John
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines the similarities and differences between exile experiences of Internal Displaced People and Cypriot refugees in London. The study analyses oral history narratives from Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who have been forced to leave their home because of the inter-communal conflict of the late 1960s and the war in Cyprus in 1974. The thesis considers the relationship between first-generation and second-generation narratives and how their stories are impacted by the hegemonies of national history and memory, which are dominant storylines in Cyprus. One of the aspects that the thesis considers is the question of memory and nostalgia and how possible it is for Cypriot refugees to develop counter narratives that disrupt the nationalism of state discourse. Central to the methodology is the importance of the dialogic construction of narratives and an autoethnographic approach, through which I consider my postmemory and my family's memory of our village in Cyprus, as a third generation British Cypriot. The thesis findings are that Cypriot refugees are ambivalent about their home and their identity. I propose that the term heterogeneity can enable an understanding of peoples' multiple identifications with different places, times and cultural formations. The diverse intercommunal, cultural and social experiences in the metropolitan, London context gives rise to identity narratives that diverge frdm the dominant, powerful, institutional and political discourses in the homeland. The heterogeneous aspects of Cypriot identities extend to refugees in Cyprus as well, making it difficult to standardise the Cypriot refugee experience. This problematises research studies and thinking that essentialise and homogenise refugee identity. The thesis contributes to debates on exilic subjectivities by problematising the common assumption that refugees are singularly nostalgic for the home that they were forced to leave. The study argues that refugee identities may be subject to change, exhibiting a variety of attachments and allegiances and that Cypriot refugees and their descendents have developed diverse practices of nostalgia for home. This proposal puts into doubt the accuracy of theories of refugee identity which frame their arguments around the `amputee' model, a term I coin to describe the refugee discourse that speaks in general terms of the refugee's desire to return home
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available