Drawing on in-depth qualitative research, this book provides a nuanced picture of the everyday identifications experienced and expressed among the superdiverse Tamil migrant population in Britain. It presents the first detailed analysis of the narrative and experiences of Tamils from a diversity of backgrounds – including Sri Lankan, Indian, Singaporean and Malaysian – and addresses the question of their identification with a ‘Tamil diaspora’ in Britain.
Theoretically informed by Brubaker’s conception of ‘diaspora as process’ and Werbner’s notion of diasporas as both ‘aesthetic’ and ‘moral’ communities, Jones examines political engagements alongside other, less studied, ‘frames’ of Tamil migrants’ lives: social relationships (local and transnational), the domestic space of home, and performances of faith and ritual. Considering diaspora as a process or practice allows the author to reveal a complex landscape upon which ‘being Tamil’ and ‘doing Tamil-ness’ in diaspora are diversely enacted.
Combining original ethnographic research with a theoretical engagement in the key debates in migration, diaspora, ethnicity and superdiversity studies, this book makes a novel contribution to scholarship on Tamil populations and will advance critical understandings of the concept of ‘diaspora’ more generally.