Accepted Paper:

Consumption of public meanings: doing ethnicity in contemporary Nepal  

Author:

Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (Bielefeld University)

Paper short abstract:

An inquiry into forms of adoptions of global meanings transported into Nepal's public space through transnational and international ethnic networks, examining the aspirational strength of the language of ethnicity.

Paper long abstract:

The past two decades have seen a tremendous upsurge of ethnicization in Nepal's political communication. Ethnic organizations and their activists have engaged in forging public representations of their collective identities, have performed depictions of ethnic unity and solidarity and went on to demands for social inclusion and state restructuring. In this process, new public meanings came to the fore. They were on one hand expressions of local ethnic cultures as well as of global ethnic meanings adopted into the Nepalese context.

This contribution is an inquiry into the forms of adoptions of global meanings transported into Nepal's public space through transnational and international ethnic networks. It examines the aspirational strength of the language of ethnicity, buttressing political demands and allowing actors to shape their politics of the self. The analysis then goes on to recent negotiations and positionings vis-à-vis the public representations, addressing the manifold tensions between public and private meanings.

Panel P28
Public displays of ethnic identity in Nepal