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Author Afzal, Ahmed
Title Islam and the making of transnational citizenship: Pakistani immigrant experience in Houston, Texas
book jacket
Descript 336 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-03, Section: A, page: 1054
Director: Kamari Clarke
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Yale University, 2005
The dissertation is a community-based ethnographic study of Pakistani immigrants in Houston. In the dissertation, I use an interdisciplinary approach to examine how belonging to a transnational Muslim ummah, ancestral affiliation with Pakistan and contemporary life situations as an ethno-religious minority in Texas shapes the conception and experience of transnational citizenship. Narratives of working-class Pakistani immigrants, second-generation Pakistani men and women, and Pakistani gay men combine with a detailed analysis of the annual Pakistan Independence Day Festival and the transnational Pakistani Muslim heritage economy in Houston to show the centrality of Islam in projects and practices of transnational Pakistani citizenship. The larger argument of the dissertation is that in the late twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries, globalization has contributed to a re-situation of Islamic religious networks, infrastructure and institutions. Everyday practices of transnational citizenship amongst Pakistani immigrants are premised on belonging to Islam as much as they are to ancestral affiliations to Pakistan, and mediated through individual life histories and experiences of homeland, migration and immigration. This assertion challenges conventional studies of secularism in western liberal democracies premised on a separation of state and religion. For most Pakistani immigrants and second-generation Pakistani-Americans, religion is not only expressed through communal prayers in mosques or through participation in religious ritual and commemorations. Rather, religious histories, heritage and norms organize all facet of social life and also mediate cultural production. Religion also provides the capital for Pakistani immigrants to negotiate their marginality within the dominant racial, ethnic and religious hierarchies of American society. Finally, religion is also central to the complex re-fashioning of ethnicity within over-lapping, Muslim, Pakistani and South Asian diasporic communities and groups in Houston
School code: 0265
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 66-03A
Subject Anthropology, Cultural
History, United States
American Studies
Alt Author Yale University
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