Walking to and from “home”: British Asian first generation citizens, translocal identities and belonging

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Abstract

Walking as a leisure pastime is particularly popular amongst first generation members of the South Asian community. In this paper, walking is used as a vehicle to explore the connections that these Gujarati Indian men and women have to the spaces/ places of their local communities and ‘home’. Whilst the lives of younger generations of South Asian men and women have tended to be at the forefront of academic debates, this has had the unfortunate effect of reducing the subjectivities of older groups to more narrow and fixed ideas about South Asian traditions and cultures. Thus limiting an understanding of their identities as also being hybrid, multiple and in-process. Additionally, much of the research
about the leisure lives of migrant groups has been based upon research about the subjectivities and belonging of men, the histories of women have been relatively ignored. In order to address these absences, this research utilised participatory methods to explore first generation Gujarati Indian men and women’s experiences of walking. The research findings revealed that the spaces/places that they walked through and across as part of their daily routines whilst relatively ordinary, were deeply meaningful, they enabled the participants to forward the translocal character of their identities over time and across space.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLeisure Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

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title = "Walking to and from “home”: British Asian first generation citizens, translocal identities and belonging",
abstract = "Walking as a leisure pastime is particularly popular amongst first generation members of the South Asian community. In this paper, walking is used as a vehicle to explore the connections that these Gujarati Indian men and women have to the spaces/ places of their local communities and ‘home’. Whilst the lives of younger generations of South Asian men and women have tended to be at the forefront of academic debates, this has had the unfortunate effect of reducing the subjectivities of older groups to more narrow and fixed ideas about South Asian traditions and cultures. Thus limiting an understanding of their identities as also being hybrid, multiple and in-process. Additionally, much of the researchabout the leisure lives of migrant groups has been based upon research about the subjectivities and belonging of men, the histories of women have been relatively ignored. In order to address these absences, this research utilised participatory methods to explore first generation Gujarati Indian men and women’s experiences of walking. The research findings revealed that the spaces/places that they walked through and across as part of their daily routines whilst relatively ordinary, were deeply meaningful, they enabled the participants to forward the translocal character of their identities over time and across space.",
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