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Negotiating diasporic mobilities and becomings: interactions and practices of Europeans of Moroccan descent on holiday in Morocco

Wagner, L.B.; (2011) Negotiating diasporic mobilities and becomings: interactions and practices of Europeans of Moroccan descent on holiday in Morocco. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In recent years, the annual summer journey of Moroccan families from Europe towards ‘home’ has become a state-acknowledged event as their arrivals number in the millions. These holidays serve an important role in molding ideas and practices of ‘Moroccanness’ for post-migrant generation diasporic visitors, as it is during this time that those of Moroccan descent raised in Europe have the most exposure to Morocco in situ – to language, community and space as they are practiced within the territorial boundaries of the nation – instead of their habitually practiced ways of being Moroccan (or not-being Moroccan) elsewhere. Using an approach based in linguistic anthropology alongside a geographical consideration of embodiment and mobilities, this thesis focuses on communicative and consumption practices of such individuals during their visits to Morocco. I traveled with participants, observing and recording interactions amongst diasporic visitors and community members resident in Morocco, and engaging with them in their practices of touristic leisure consumption. Thinking about ideas of ‘Moroccanness’ as a node in assemblage, unfixed yet specific, I demonstrate how their communicative and consumption practices shape an evolving sense of what it means to be ‘Moroccan’ for diasporic visitors. Their ideas of ‘Moroccanness’, which take shape both as rooted in diasporic connection and as touristic appreciation through consumption, resonate with the sense of ‘being Moroccan’ during their holidays and when they return ‘home’ to Europe. Yet, their diasporic orientation towards Morocco as a place of leisure consumption has ramifications on the relationship between future diasporic generations and the territory as ‘homeland’. My main theoretical contributions are: reimagining ‘diasporic’ in materialist terms, as an action instead of a state of being; and reimagining ‘hybridity’ as a set of interactions responding to multiple attractors in multiplicity, rather than an unstable condition of being neither one, nor the other.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Negotiating diasporic mobilities and becomings: interactions and practices of Europeans of Moroccan descent on holiday in Morocco
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Geography

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