Who Was Part Of This? Meet The Project Assistants

By Caroline Osella|June 17, 2019|Uncategorized|0 comments

The days are long gone when anthropologists would pretend to be lone heroes.  All that nonsense was part of a colonial moment and also part of a certain hubristic trend in academia. Yet ghastly echoes of an Indiana Jones nature still bedevil the concept of ‘fieldwork‘. Let’s speak plainly here: everything that all of us do is always collaborative, and nothing more so than ethnographic research. My part of the

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Results & Trends VII: Infrastructure (as predicted)

By Caroline Osella|June 10, 2019|project outputs, project results and findings, Uncategorised, Uncategorized|0 comments

3 periods of Kerala fieldwork over 2 years. 84 respondents. Mixed ages, provenance, community and class, different migration destinations. A straight 50/50 split between those who felt that Gulf migration was “only for the money” and those who felt that lifestyle and other factors were also important in their decision to go and to stay. The next few posts will pull out the major factors which emerged from the 84 free-form

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Results & Trends VI: Life in the Gulf – good, bad, ambivalent?

By Caroline Osella|June 8, 2019|project outputs, project results and findings, Uncategorised, Uncategorized|0 comments

3 periods of Kerala fieldwork over 2 years. 84 respondents. Mixed ages, provenance, community and class, different migration destinations. Here’s some quotes from interviews in which respondents explained or justified their evaluation of Gulf life as positive, negative or ambivalent and often compared it to life in Kerala. ‘There’s no communal problem in the Gulf. I’m the only Hindu in my team, but we all get on and we never

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Results & Trends V: Is It All About the Money?

By Caroline Osella|June 6, 2019|project outputs, project results and findings, Uncategorized|0 comments

3 periods of Kerala fieldwork over 2 years. 84 respondents. Mixed ages, provenance, community and class, different migration destinations. Special focus on Mavelikkara, Calicut & Mattancherry   Respondents split by gender         A mix of retired, returned, current migrants Their response to my key question: is Gulf migration only about the money? You’ll be thinking I’ve made this up – such a neat result. Split straight down

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All Data Is In. We Have Interesting News.

By Caroline Osella|June 5, 2019|project results and findings, Uncategorized|0 comments

I’ve been closing my part of the REALM project over the past month. Now I will be posting highlights from the results. Anyone who works in migration can approach me if they need more details, and you can see the bigger REALM website for details of other projects on this collaborative initiative. My project – ‘The Paradox of the Gulf as a Space of Freedom and Aspiration’, grew out of

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Another Report on longstanding India-Khaleeji connections

By Caroline Osella|June 2, 2019|Uncategorized|0 comments

I recently posted about some human stories which remind us of the longstanding travel connections between the Gulf and India and about an instagram project gathering images of Gulf Indians. Now I’ve received (thanks to the amazing Ala group) a link to another interesting blogpost tracking these connections. It contains some interview words from Dr Neha Vora, whose book about Dubai Indians challenges narratives of purity and separation. As I

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Abu Dhabi – God’s Own Country

By Caroline Osella|May 28, 2019|Uncategorized|0 comments

An important question for my part of the REALM research has been about following up on my earlier work, which strongly suggested that Gulf migration, for Malayalis, is not “just about the money”.  I’ve been asking people to identify what other aspects are important to them. Now, UK project assistant Helen Underhill and I have been sifting over 100 free-form qualitative interviews and putting some of our findings into a

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Putting ‘travel’ back at the heart of migration stories.

By Caroline Osella|April 30, 2019|Media, project results and findings|1 comments

Today I’m re-posting another excellent piece, which mulls over the phenomenonlogy of migration and pleads for us not to forget the human stories and experiences which often get hidden behind a policy-maker’s focus on migration costs, income outcomes, push-pull factors, labyrinthine systems of visas, patrons, travel costs and more. This is why the REALM project gathers not only economists and demographers, but also political scientists, ethnographers and sociologists: and insists

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Instagram Chronicle of Gulf migration and memories

By Caroline Osella|April 28, 2019|Media|2 comments

Here is an extraordinarily rich and well-curated account of Gulf – South Asia connections from Ayesha, who has been working for some time now on this. What’s especially exciting about this project is that it is coming from people who themselves have been part of this history; that it takes us back to some of the earliest photographically-recorded moments and memories; and that it acknowledges the two-way nature of these

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Results and Trends IV: The difference that Religious Community Can Make?

By Caroline Osella|April 23, 2019|project outputs, project results and findings, Uncategorized|0 comments

Mavelikkara is a Hindu and Christian area; I met almost none of Alappuzha district’s 10% population who are Muslims during my 1990s fieldworks. (To round this out, I am beginning to make connections in the nearby market town of Kayamkulam, as I continue my return visits to Travancore). Calicut is a town with a strong Muslim community (40%) and it borders onto the district of Malappuram, where Muslims make up

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