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Wording the WorldVeena Das and Scenes of Inheritance$
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Roma Chatterji

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823261857

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823261857.001.0001

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“Listening to Voices”

“Listening to Voices”

Immigrants, Settlers, and Citizens at the Ethnic Margins of the State

(p.211) Twelve “Listening to Voices”
Wording the World

Sangeeta Chattoo

Fordham University Press

This chapter uses Veena Das’s notion of ‘listening to voices’ as a tool to understand ethnicity as a site of subjectivity and negotiation between self, community and state by people of Pakistani origin settled in the United Kingdom. Like most minority ethnic groups, they are located at the political margins of the state and constituted as partial citizens through essentialised notions of culture and community. State discourses on family, parenting and social welfare reflect a tension between upholding dominant, liberal values of gender equality, and autonomy while recognising the cultural and religious rights of minority communities. The author focuses on displays of ‘family practices’ in the accounts of three generations of people of Pakistani origin, providing an insight into how ethnicity and state are experienced.

Keywords:   Ethnicity, State practices, Partial citizens, Culture and community

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