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New CosmopolitanismsSouth Asians in the US$
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Gita Rajan and Shailja Sharma

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752800

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752800.001.0001

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The Pakistani Diaspora in North America

The Pakistani Diaspora in North America

(p.37) Chapter Two The Pakistani Diaspora in North America
New Cosmopolitanisms

Iftikhar Dadi

Stanford University Press

This chapter looks historically at the Orientalized, immigrant communities of Pakistanis, and explores “slippery definitional quandaries of national/diaspora identities” through complex markers of race, class, gender, popular cultural effects, and the “rubrics” of Islamic practices. Writing in the shadow of the horrific events of September 11, it describes the collapse of class, pointing out that “even the most privileged elites have become objects of surveillance and suspicion, the subjectivity of the Pakistani American is being interpellated and reinscribed on a plane of contestation,” revealing, perhaps, a negative phase of new cosmopolitanism. The chapter addresses both the historical and contemporary roots of Pakistani–American identity, which creates a cross-genre dialogue between the ethnographic and the historical-informative. It traces the multiple traumas of originary nation creation and consolidation as they were gradually replaced by a strong sense of belonging in the Pakistani–American population.

Keywords:   Pakistani–Americans, national identity, class, cosmopolitanism

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