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Dimorphic diasporas: Assembling identity, community belonging, and collective action among Iranians in London

Ghoddousi, Pooya; (2019) Dimorphic diasporas: Assembling identity, community belonging, and collective action among Iranians in London. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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This thesis aims to understand and explore the possibilities for positive collective action among middling, transnational Iranians. It analyses ten assemblages of (mostly) Iranian transmigrants in London (and beyond). The thesis borrows methods from Participatory Action Research, auto-ethnographic and netnographic approaches to examine the everyday lives of my networks of friends and family, and several forums of collective action I was involved with. These networks are understood not so much as field sites, but as temporary assemblages held together by affective intensities and material flows, which also create their emergent agencies. Through reading these assemblages, this thesis proposes a dimorphic (i.e. nomad- sedentary) paradigm in which mobility is merely one of the life strategies available to transmigrants and not the primary analytic concept. In doing so, this thesis is both inspired by – and offers a corrective to – the mobilities paradigm, which has been instrumental in shifting migration studies away from its ‘sedentary bias’. The dimorphic paradigm is a transhistorical analytic concept that draws on elements of nomadic and sedentary tendencies prevalent in the history of the Iranian plateau. It proposes a new conceptual framework that (1) accommodates a mixture of nomad and sedentary socialities and (2) relates a micro-politics of non-state assemblages to a macro-politics of state contexts. In working with this paradigm, this thesis reveals the micro-politics of partially 'unsettled' Iranian migrants’ lives: it uses nomad-sedentary heuristics to trace the creation of trust and kinship in assemblages and reveals the potentials of their emergent agencies in collective action. Dimorphism engages with the creation of solidarities beyond identity politics in order to increase their potentials for progressive politics and warding off the crystallisation of hierarchy, exclusion, or essentialism. It therefore allows us not only to study, but also experiment with, the progressive political potentials of (un)settled modes of being and becoming.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Dimorphic diasporas: Assembling identity, community belonging, and collective action among Iranians in London
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Dimorphism, Diaspora, Transnationalism, middling migrants, Iranians, London, Nomadism, Assemblages, being–in–the–world, Trust, Kinship, Identity, Belonging, Community, Collective action, Auto-ethnography, Netnography, Cartography, Participatory Action Research
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074752
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