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Title: Becoming (an)other : an intergenerational exploration of storied encounters of migrations, processes of otherisation and identity (re)negotiations for post-war Jamaican families in Manchester, England
Author: Williams, Patrick
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2018
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The emergence of Britain’s black population is often attributed to the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush into Tilbury Docks, London, England on 22nd June 1948. This event is now marked as the genesis of Britain’s multi-cultural character, along with the emergent social problems of racism(s), discriminations and racialized inequalities. Yet, whilst oft told, the story is imprecise, inextricably bound up within the development of a pathological and ‘dangerous’ sociology (Bourne and Sivanandan 1980). The sociology of race relations has served to produce, impose and maintain pathological constructions of the black immigrant as ‘economic migrant’, being those who were pushed away from the poverty of the Caribbean and pulled towards the prosperity afforded by the post-war British economy. Furthermore, the post-war black immigrant becomes imbue with an unassimilable culture that impedes their absorption into British society. Today, the subtext of the ‘Windrush story’ endures, still serviced by a ‘race relations’ industry but also accompanied by pathological Criminologies, astute in the production of objects, its knowledge base is episodically evoked by politicians and policy-makers to arouse the (social, economic and cultural) problems attributed to unchecked immigration. Within this context research conversations capture the stories of ten families who migrated from Jamaica to Manchester in England, UK. Drawing upon Narrative Identity Theory (McAdams 1993, Maruna 2001), self- (and contested) identities emerged inductively as central to the families’ experiences. Further, family stories reveal the self through recollections of (social) interactions with a generalised British other. Critically, particular encounters emerged as significant events, attributed with arousing that sensation of difference, a consciousness of an otherness. It is within such ‘disruptive encounters’ that otherisation occurs, necessitating a (re)negotiation of imposed and imagined definitions and identities. In defiance of and in resisting the imposition of negative (culturally maladjusted and criminally endowed) constructions of Jamaican identity, a Britishness is produced and claimed by the family’s which marks their perpetual migration toward the (British) Other.
Supervisor: Iganski, Paul ; Smith, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral