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25/02/05

  17:17:33, by admin   . Categories: Us and Them, Europe, fieldwork / methods, youth, cosmopolitanism

Beyond Ethnic Boundaries? Anthropological study on British Asian Cosmopolitans

Anthropologist Cicilie Fagerlid (University of Oslo) has recently published her thesis about young British Asians on the web. In her introduction, she writes:

"Society cannot remain a society if people feel excluded on basis of what characterises them as a category. The imagined category Britishness must not exclude the imagined category Asianness. How is the interface between recognition for difference, societal belonging and individual freedom played out?

This thesis is based on 11 months fieldwork among, roughly, 30 British Asians, aged 20 to 30, in London in 1999. With the anthropological focus on the micro level, on the experiences of socially and culturally embedded individuals, I hope to show how Britain, step by step, is moving in the direction of a cosmopolitan society.

By focusing on the individual negotiation, the diversity that appears indicates that their British Asianness can be contained by neither an old idea of Britishness nor essential traits of Asianness."

>> download the thesis (459 kb, pdf)

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