University of Sussex
Zeitlyn,_Benjamin.pdf (4.41 MB)

Growing up glocal in London and Sylhet

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:18 authored by Benjamin Zeitlyn
This thesis is about children and transnationalism. It is about the way in which children develop their identities in transnational communities in societies being transformed by globalisation. It is about the reproduction of societies through the socialisation of children and the tension inherent between this reproduction and social change. I set out to study children but became interested in adults’ interactions with children and the nature of transnational communities and identities. As my fieldwork progressed I was drawn away from children into a study of families and societies. So, while children are the empirical focus of this thesis, there are many complementary sections which draw on evidence from adults or only discuss adults. As my description of Shirin and her brother above illustrates, processes and tensions are mediated by children often through seemingly contradictory attitudes and practices. I will investigate this phenomenon of contradiction and ambivalence as it characterises the experiences of the British Bangladeshi children I focus on and is key to understanding way in which identities are formed and experienced. [It] was conceived as part of the research project ‘Home and Away: South Asian Children’s Representations of Diaspora’, which was managed by my supervisor, Dr. Katy Gardner and Dr. Kanwal Mand. One aim of the project was to address a gap in research on the views of transnational children on issues of culture, belonging and identities. The project aims to investigate and bring to the fore the influence of the life course in migration research. This thesis contributes to these aims, but on its own can make only a partial contribution to this field. It is a snapshot of just over a year in the lives of a group of about twenty British Bangladeshi children between the ages of 8 and 12. Added to this material is additional data collected from a wider group of children in less depth, from younger and older siblings and from parents and other adults.


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