The Construction of Diaspora: South Asians Living in Japan


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The Construction of Diaspora: South Asians Living in Japan
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Population movement has now become a central issue in international relations. This has led to a closer examination of not only the reasons for international migration but also of the varied and mixed experiences of the migrants in the receiving state. A particular focus of such examination has been to understand the process through which international migration transforms itself into a diaspora. Put differently, why and how (old and new) migrants, expatriates, refugees, guest-workers, exiles and the like, although not knowing each other back home, regroup themselves and reproduce their very existence as marginalized and alienated, but at the same time, served and cared community in the land they have chosen to make their new home. In this context, the recent coming of South Asians to Japan, for reasons of its relative freshness and diversity, makes the subject matter all the more interesting, particularly for understanding the factors contributing to the construction of the South Asian diaspora in Japan. This book seeks to examine the life and living of the South Asian migrants in Japan, particularly the manner in which work, food, gender, sexuality and leisure contributed to the cementing of the relationship between the South Asians while keeping a distance from the Japanese. Imtiaz Ahmed is a Professor of International Relations at the University of Dhaka and is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Alternatives. He is also the Editor of Theoretical Perspectives: A Journal of Social Sciences and Arts and Co-editor of South Asian Refugee Watch. Aside from numerous articles in national and international journals and several edited volumes, his publications include State and Foreign Policy: India's Role in South Asia (Delhi: Vikas, 1993) and The Efficacy of the Nation State in South Asia: A Post-nationalist Critique (Colombo: ICES, 1998). His most recent publication is an edited volume titled Living with Floods: An Exercise in Alternatives (Dhaka: UPL, 1999).



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