Accepted paper:

Transnational Migration, Integration, and Identity


Ayar Ata (London South Bank University)

Paper short abstract:

To understand the Kurdish diaspora in London requires answering two interrelated questions of Kurdish forced migration history and Kurdish cultural identity. This study evaluates the integration experiences of the Kurdish diaspora in London, who have settled in this city since the1990s.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper comparison is made between the positions and perspectives of second generation Kurds born in Britain and the first generation that came to Britain in the 1990s.This allows an exploration of the notion of identity and ideas of home and belonging in the light of contemporary changes and concomitant theories of diaspora and refugee studies, and, where necessary, challenges those ideas. Evidence from previous academic work suggests that questions of Kurdish history and Kurdish cultural identity are inextricably linked. This study's research method is based on ethnographic fieldwork and the collection of qualitative data through 25 one-to-one semi-structured interviews, with participants selected from across different sections of the Kurdish diaspora community(ies) in London. In order to test and clarify complex conceptual issues. The stages as reflected in the personal narratives include initial arrival in London and encounters with the British state's immigration and integration policies, the actual process of rebuilding individual or family life, and new home making through the on-going challenges, shifts and negotiations of identities. That is, the slow process of becoming a Kurdish-Londoner.

panel E07
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