Dissertation Abstracts

Socio-Cultural Study Of Gujarati Diaspora With Special Reference To England, America And Canada

Author: Chundawat, Virendra Singh, virendra.sociology@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: The Maharaja Sayajirao University Of Baroda, India
Year of completion: 2015
Language of dissertation: ENGLISH

Areas of Research: Migration , Social Transformations and Sociology of Development , Social Psychology


The word Diaspora is originated from two Greek words dia-meaning through, speiro- meaning scattered. In Greek it means ‘to disperse’ and is based on a translation of the Hebrew word, Galut. It means movement of people from one place to another, whereby they shift their residence. Diaspora was originally used for Jewish people ousted from their homeland Israel and settled in all over world.Diaspora is a multifaceted social phenomenon which has attracted the attention of Social Scientists, Government, NGOs and policy makers. Research in the field of Diaspora particularly in Indian studied only after independence and got momentum with globalization process. The diasporic study incorporates aspects of identity, culture, conflicts, multiculturalism, ethnicity etc. These include emigration to and settlement in foreign countries, their socio- economic profile, position in host and home countries, organization of socio-cultural life in host country, problem of socio- cultural adjustment and preservation of separate socio-cultural identity, relation with home country and impact on home country in terms of bringing of socio-economic development and changes.
Immigration and settlement in Western countries is primarily caused by economic reasons like economic difficulty and physical discomforts of their home region. The captivity of socio-cultural life of Gujarati Diaspora to the narrowed social circles of kin, caste fellows, religious, regional and other ethnic organizations, keeps them away from the main stream and public- political life of their host country by which they are still considered as ‘outsiders’. Their status of ‘receiver’ not ‘contributor’ in the host country prevents their assimilation in the social system of the same. In spite of having strong socio-cultural ties with their home region in India, most of the respondents are being measured as lost by their home society, due to their reluctance to return back to India for re-settlement in the same. It is observed in large number of cases fellows already living in host country who not only gave sponsorship but also arrange for their initial stay and employment in the same. Migrants are investing in real estate and are also making other investments for community or regional development such as opening schools, hostels and hospitals. Foreign remittances sent for the purpose such as agricultural improvements, small scale business, bank deposits and purchase of new lands are productive in the sense that they bring returns on investment. Foreign remittance has large positive support on growth of Indian economy and development of Gujarat. The study of NRGs suggest that initially they migrated to host country for money making and strong desire to come back to home country which never come true in most of the cases. They generally settled down in host country and their behavior creates situation in which their native family loss them forever. The old parents left away at home country and are isolated. But at the same time, these NRGs are sending remittances and are supporting families in home country. Because of their financial support children are studying in good schools in home country and the standard of living is improving.

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