By Katy Gardner
While nearly all of contemporary examine on identification and ethnicity among South Asians in Britain has targeted upon more youthful humans, this ebook offers with Bengali elders, the ‘first generation’ of migrants from Sylhet, in Bangladesh. The booklet describes what percentage of those elders face the strategies of getting older, disease and — ultimately — demise, in a rustic the place they didn't count on to stick and the place they don't inevitably suppose they belong. The ways that they discuss and take care of this, and specifically, their ambivalence in the direction of Britain and Bangladesh lies on the middle of the e-book.
Centrally, the e-book is predicated round the males and women’s lifestyles tales. In her research of those, Gardner indicates how narratives play a huge function within the formation of either collective and person id and are key domain names for the articulation of gender and age. Underlying the tales that individuals inform, and infrequently hidden inside of their gaps and silences, are frequently different concerns and issues. utilizing specific idioms and narrative units, the elders discuss the contradictions and disjunctions of transmigration, their courting with and occasionally resistance to, the British kingdom, and what they typically current because the ‘breakdown’ of ‘traditional’ methods. as well as this, the ebook exhibits that histories, tales and id aren't simply narrated via phrases, but additionally during the physique - a space hardly ever theorized in reviews of migration.
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Extra resources for Age, Narrative and Migration: The Life Course and Life Histories of Bengali Elders in London
Mumby 1993: 3; for discussion of the relationship between life histories and postmodernism see also Singer 1997: 7 and Chamberlain 1997. 88. For example, Sivaramakrishnan and Agrawal 1998. 89. See Good 1994; Mattingly 1998; Kleinman 1988. 90 In choosing to structure this book around narratives I am also not pretending that this makes it any more ‘objective’. 91 Each of the elders’ accounts and comments have been chosen and edited by me, and each is used to put across my particular point of view.
They are also far from the only influences that shape the elders’ strategies, and choices for power relations at both the global and the domestic end of the continuum are also of central importance. The Politics of Hearing As has already been indicated, narratives are not told in a vacuum. Who hears one’s story and how that person reacts are key to both the form that the story takes and the results that it has. 106 Complaints, he suggests, are ways of criticizing the social order. They can thus be read as forms of resistance; but how they are heard, and the response of the listener, depend a great deal on who is hearing as well as who is making them.
But as I also argue, there is an important distinction between bodily and social dependency, and the experience of physical incapacitation is described in highly negative terms by those who have suffered strokes or other forms of disability. In Chapter 7 I analyse the sickness narratives of the elders and their carers in more detail. Drawing on the last part of Chapter 6, in which we see how narratives of the body may be used to comment on wider concerns, to complain and to lay claim to various forms of support, I argue that narratives concerning the onset of illness, which are often extraordinarily detailed, can be read as political and social critiques, in which the ideal social order is contrasted with reality.
Age, Narrative and Migration: The Life Course and Life Histories of Bengali Elders in London by Katy Gardner