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Shiftings of the self : towards a deterritorialized view of identity and belonging : the case of East and Central African-Asians in Canada

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Shiftings of the self : towards a deterritorialized view of identity and belonging : the case of East and Central African-Asians in Canada

Matthews, Kim C (2000) Shiftings of the self : towards a deterritorialized view of identity and belonging : the case of East and Central African-Asians in Canada. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Who am I? The question of identity is formulated with particular intensity by the fifteen respondents of this study, members of the East and Central African-Asian diaspora residing in Canada. The respondents are Ismaili by faith, a spiritual identity that underpins all other aspects of their identity construction. They may identify as Indian by origins, African by place of birth or upbringing, and recently as Canadian by citizenship. Some have multiple identities, they may select one or more as prime or dominant; they may change their identities depending on the circumstances. At times, the representation of their identity may be contested. Negotiating identity and identities is therefore the theme of this thesis: How people negotiate and maintain their identities, why, with what consequences, also what conflicts this may cause, both internally, and with the earlier and later generations--parents and children. They have from the very start of their existence faced challenges to their identity and sense of belonging. Born in Africa of Indian origins, they faced opposition from African governments who in some cases refused to provide citizenship. The ability of social agents to forge a sense of belonging despite resistance at the local level speaks to the value of spiritual and cultural spaces in which the construction of identity goes beyond specific localities in the effort to shape shared meanings and understanding.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Matthews, Kim C
Pagination:iv, 124 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Amit, Vered
ID Code:1318
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:18
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:19
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