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Title: Out of India? : re-presenting the Indian diaspora
Author: Edwards, K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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The approach taken is based in post-structuralist and post-colonialist thinking and the substantive content explores a genealogy of knowledge about three hegemonic signifiers, pertaining to the identity of members of the Indian diaspora. The signifiers explored are ‘British Indian’, ‘Non-Resident Indian’ and ‘Global Indian’. The perspective adopted has been influenced by research which falls under the rubric of ‘critical geopolitics’. Reflecting this influence, diasporic identities, as defined in this thesis, develop as a result of political practice and as a form of discourse. The thesis draws on Foucaudian-informed discourse analysis to interrogate sights (visions), sites (locations) and cites (texts) contributing to the social construction of diasporic identities and the role of geographical (sociospatial) knowledge in that social construction. The thesis draws on both historical and contemporary sources and adopts a comparative analytical framework. Historical sources, examined to explore the ‘formal’ geopolitical visions of a diasporic intellectual and to unpack contemporaneous, ‘popular’ constructions of diasporic identity, include: Indian Opinion, the newspaper first published in 1904 which was edited by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi until 1914, during his sojourn as a ‘British Indian’ in South Africa; his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth and its companion volume Satyagraha in South Africa. Contemporary sources, examined to explore ‘practical’ and ‘popular’ geographical visions, include interviews with actors and political elites, investigating, amongst other things, the India Investment Centre’s ‘practical’ involvement with ‘Non-Resident Indians’ from 1991-1998. The main source examined to explore ‘popular’ visions of these diasporic identities is the influential news weekly India Today. Key findings indicate the significance of narratives containing values and beliefs about forms of ‘capital’ in re-presentations of diasporic identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available