Diaspora identification and long-distance nationalism among Tamil migrants of diverse state origins in the UK


Accounts of Tamil long-distance nationalism have focused on Sri Lankan Tamil migrants. But the UK is also home to Tamils of non-Sri Lankan state origins. While these migrants may be nominally incorporated into a 'Tamil diaspora', they are seldom present in scholarly accounts. Framed by Werbner's (2002) conception of diasporas as 'aesthetic' and 'moral' communities, this article explores whether engagement with a Tamil diaspora and long-distance nationalism is expressed by Tamil migrants of diverse state origins. While migrants identify with an aesthetic community, 'membership' of the moral community is contested between those who hold direct experience of suffering as central to belonging, and those who imagine the boundaries of belonging more fluidly - based upon primordial understandings of essential ethnicity and a narrative of Tamil 'victimhood' that incorporates experiences of being Tamil in Sri Lanka, India and in other sites, despite obvious differences in these experiences. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2013.835852
Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Languages & Social Sciences > Sociology and Policy
Languages & Social Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: diaspora,ethnicity,long-distance nationalism,migration,Tamils,transnational politics,Cultural Studies,Sociology and Political Science,Anthropology
Full Text Link: http://www.tand ... 870.2013.835852
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... 3cb2d172d5c6181 (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2014
Published Online Date: 2013-10-07
Authors: Jones, Demelza ( 0000-0002-5985-1972)



Version: Accepted Version

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