Age, Narrative and Migration: The Life Course and Life by Katy Gardner

By Katy Gardner

When nearly all of contemporary learn on identification and ethnicity among South Asians in Britain has targeted upon more youthful humans, this e-book bargains with Bengali elders, the ‘first generation’ of migrants from Sylhet, in Bangladesh. The publication describes what number of those elders face the tactics of aging, illness and — eventually — dying, in a rustic the place they didn't anticipate to stick and the place they don't unavoidably consider they belong. The ways that they speak about and care for this, and specifically, their ambivalence in the direction of Britain and Bangladesh lies on the middle of the e-book.

Centrally, the booklet is predicated round the males and women’s lifestyles tales. In her research of those, Gardner indicates how narratives play a big position within the formation of either collective and person identification and are key domain names for the articulation of gender and age. Underlying the tales that folks inform, and infrequently hidden inside their gaps and silences, are usually different concerns and issues. utilizing specific idioms and narrative units, the elders speak about the contradictions and disjunctions of transmigration, their dating with and occasionally resistance to, the British nation, and what they generally current because the ‘breakdown’ of ‘traditional’ methods. as well as this, the publication indicates that histories, tales and identification aren't simply narrated via phrases, but in addition in the course of the physique - a space hardly ever theorized in experiences of migration.

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Additional resources for Age, Narrative and Migration: The Life Course and Life Histories of Bengali Elders in London

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Is experience moulded by the need to create plot, drama and resolution? 105 In making this argument, however, we need to be cautious about what types of narratives and plots we are discussing. While in Mattingly’s research in Boston the emplotment of medical practice followed the same basic structure, plot types in general are not universal but culturally and historically determined. As I shall argue in the next chapter, the elders who participated in my own research tended to package their experiences in a variety of narrative genres.

Narratives can also be powerful tools in indicating the diverse elements that constitute identity, and the ways in which identities shift and are contested within the same individual, something I shall illustrate throughout the book. Stories – of where one has come from, and where one plans to go – seem particularly important for migrants. This is partly because they, perhaps more than others, need to give coherence and meaning to their experiences. In addition to this, narratives, like migration, are always characterized by movement, both within their internal form (from their start to their finish), and in the ways in which they are told.

36 – Introduction The physicality of migration is perhaps one reason why so many of the elders’ narratives revolve around stories of the body, especially when they become sick. Sick bodies are, after all, bodies ‘out of place’,113 and many of the elders feel that they, too, are out of place. Their focus upon dysfunctional bodies may thus belie a wider sense of dis-ease. This brings me to my final point. Ageing, however it is culturally constructed, involves a changing relationship with one’s body.

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