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The University of Southampton
The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development

Leisuring Diaspora: Class, Ethnicity and Leisure in Middle-Class British Indian Families Event

Utsa Mukherjee
12 November 2020
Presented via Zoom

Event details

Research on the global Indian diaspora has proliferated over the last few decades, just as the Indian Government has accelerated its engagement with the diaspora as an instrument of its foreign policy. Till date, scholars studying these diasporic communities in North America and Europe have largely captured the experiences of adults and drawn attention to the ways in which diasporans mobilise material cultural products and media to construct ethnic identities and forge diasporic ties. However, diasporic childhoods – and parenting practices – have remained largely on the margins of this scholarship. Challenging this adult-centrism, in this talk, I use diasporic children’s leisure spaces as a point of entry to interrogate the interior lives and social identities of British Indian families. Drawing on interview narratives of professional middle-class Indian parents and their children, living in and around London, I show how ethnic leisure spaces are constructed by these families as a way of reinforcing ethnic pride, directing place-making and for cross-generational transmission of cultural heritage. I further argue that unpacking this leisure-culture nexus can offer key insights into how ethnic identities are (re)fashioned and cultural practices are (re)produced in the Indian diaspora.

Event poster

Speaker information

Dr Utsa Mukherjee, an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Southampton’s Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology. He received his PhD in Sociology from Royal Holloway University of London and has previously taught at Birkbeck University of London and the University of Roehampton. Located at the intersection of childhood studies and leisure studies, his research draws focus on questions around social inequalities, children's everyday geographies and parenting practices. During this ESRC funded Postdoctoral Fellowship, Utsa will be working on his first monograph provisionally titled Race, Class and Children's Leisure.

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