Diasporic Sincerity: Tales from a 'returnee' researcher

Dattatreyan, E. Gabriel. 2014. Diasporic Sincerity: Tales from a 'returnee' researcher. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 21(2), pp. 152-167. ISSN 1070-289X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper explores how my diasporic 'returnee’ status positions me with the participants in my research endeavors within education reform NGOs in and around Bangalore, India. I argue that in addition to forcing me to reassess the scripts of ‘belonging' I hold as an Indian American, the very stories that make me part of the diaspora reshape the research context by offering my interlocutors new narrative tropes by which to (re)imagine India. These re-imaginings precipitate a destabilization of context specific categories that limit social interaction, such as caste, class, gender and regional belonging, allowing me the possibility of ethnographically sincere encounters across a diverse set of participants (Jackson, 2010). However, as I persistently transgress boundaries I find myself in vulnerable positions, as the politics of difference within the organization threaten to undermine my research endeavor.

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diaspora, transnationalism, researcher reflexivity, nationalism, education, development

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29 October 2013Published Online

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Date Deposited:

03 Jan 2017 14:54

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2017 11:08

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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