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Title: Between East Coast and West Bank : an ethnographic study of second-generation Palestinian-Americans' relationship to Palestine and Palestinianness
Author: Brocket, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7661 1190
Awarding Body: UCL
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Drawing on nine months of ethnographic research in New Jersey and two months in the occupied Palestinian territories conducted from 2015-2017, this thesis examines the relationships between second-generation Palestinian-Americans in New Jersey and Palestine and Palestinianness. It argues that the second-generation inherit, produce and negotiate strong ways of transnational 'being' and 'belonging' in relation to Palestine. This enduring commitment to Palestine emerges from a context of statelessness and occupation, strong relationships with family and diaspora community, and socialisation and politicisation in dense diasporic and transnational networks connecting New Jersey and the West Bank. Whilst the connections they forge are often expressed through essentialised notions of Palestinianness, they emerge from the second-generation's cultural, temporal and spatial distance from Palestine and their socio-cultural assimilation in the United States. This positioning leads to struggles over authenticity vis-à-vis the first-generation and Palestinians in the homeland and a sense of in-betweenness. This is deepened by their racialisation as 'other' in American society, even as they articulate belonging in and identification with the US and Americanness in generally less explicit but still meaningful ways. However, this thesis highlights the creative potential of this in-betweenness, suggesting it engenders responses that, although not characterised by unbridled hybridity, weave together the 'here' and 'there' to create new socio-cultural, political and transnational practices. It analyses such collective practices whilst also exploring differences and tensions within the second-generation sample. This thesis contributes new insight into the motivation, extent and form of second-generation diasporic transnationalism and an examination of a stateless second-generation group that has received little attention in diaspora and migration studies. It suggests the value of a process-oriented, dual-sited ethnographic approach that interrogates the complex negotiation between 'roots' and 'routes' that plays out in the hostland and homeland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available