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Becoming an(other): A consideration of 'disrupted migrations'

Williams, Patrick (2016) Becoming an(other): A consideration of 'disrupted migrations'. In: First Postgraduate Conference on Caribbean In/securities and Creativity, 23 May 2016, University of Birmingham, UK. (Unpublished)

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The uncritical retelling of the dominant ‘Windrush story’ simplistically serves to conceal the agentic realities of those young men and women who migrated from Jamaica to England prior to 1962. The maintenance of this ‘single story’ (Adichie 2009) renders invisible a number of contradictions regarding the lived realities of subsequent Jamaican generations, particularly for those born in England. The concept of the Other, that is those who are deemed to infringe the normative boundaries of British society, endures as a relatively unchallenged concept within the disciplines of Sociology and Criminology (Spalek 2008). Arguably, the attribution of other status serves to reify the contemporary construct of the Black other as emerging from the textual post-war Jamaican immigrant. Informed by fieldwork undertaken for my PhD ‘Becoming the Other: the problematisation of the Windrush generations,’ this study develops narrative conversations with three generations of ten families within the Old Trafford area of Manchester, England. Emerging findings attest to the experience of ‘critical moments’ from which “Black British” identities are negotiated. The process of becoming the other as experienced by the ‘first born’ (2nd generation) is detected through a series of ‘touches’ (Tate 2016). That is, the association of the first born to the imagined Black Jamaican, as problem. Yet, such significant interactions are not only detected in the first born’s external encounters with the white English other, but also controversially through a number of internal cues from significant others (parents, siblings, family and friends). Within this paper, I want to consider that the experience of internal otherisation serves to form an(other) identity for the first born in England prior to external encounters. Furthermore, such encounters suggest a continuity in migratory distancing (a)way from Jamaicaness towards a more precarious (Black) Britishness.

Type of Work:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Department:Department of Geography
Date:23 May 2016
Keywords:Precarious identities; alienation; commodification/rebirth; citizenship; migration; exile; Caribbean insecurity; socio-economic insecurity; identity; Jamaica.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Related URLs:
Funders:Leverhulme Trust
Copyright Holders:Patrick Williams
ID Code:2196

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