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Title: I cast no shadow : a creative and critical exploration of Dubai's South Asian denizen TCK experience
Author: Jahan, Aiysha
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 9122
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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Dubai Calling and other Stories (Part 1) is a collection of twelve fictional short stories inspired by the experience of growing up as non-Emirati in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It features both male and female protagonists, all of whom hail from the countries of South Asia. The stories portray the everyday lives of these individuals, emphasising the impact of living long term in a place they cannot legally call a permanent home. The accompanying Critical Review (Part 2) provides an understanding of the Dubai non-Emirati experience. The children of families that reside temporarily outside their passport countries have been defined as Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Research detailing the benefits and challenges of growing up in a dynamic third culture has grown over the years. With its 202 nationalities, Dubai is a unique environment. While the term TCK is increasingly being used to describe the children who grow up in Dubai, it does not fully describe the non-Emiratis who live there long term, but do not have the legal right to naturalise. Although these individuals experience many of the benefits and challenges of a TCK lifestyle, they are more akin to migrants, and live in Dubai in a state of enforced unbelonging. In this thesis, it is argued that these individuals are better described by the term ‘denizen TCK’, as the word ‘denizen’ reflects the nature of living in a place long term, while also connoting the secondary status of such individuals. The research conducted for this project studied the impact of growing up as a denizen TCK, utilising a sequential mixed methods approach. A survey was conducted which was answered by eighty-three respondents who hail from nineteen countries, a majority of whom hold South Asian passports. Analysis of the results highlighted a number of themes: Dubai as home, identity confusion, the advantages of Dubai’s multicultural environment, and the disadvantages of the lack of a route to naturalisation and racism. Further research was conducted, in the form of semi-structured interviews. Four female TCKs who grew up in Dubai were interviewed. The themes that recurred were that of the impact of Dubai on identity and belonging, and the effect of repatriation to one’s passport country. This critical exploration of the Dubai TCK experience informed the redrafting of the creative project, its recurring themes guiding the process and sharpening the stories.
Supervisor: May, William ; Burns, Carole Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available