Committed and communist

Negotiating political allegiances in the diaspora

Authored by: Miquel Pomar-Amer

The Routledge Companion to Pakistani Anglophone Writing

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138745520
eBook ISBN: 9781315180618
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315180618-25

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Abstract

The hegemonic discourse in Britain imagines the Pakistani diasporic community in terms of economic and cultural precariousness. This chapter reflects on the intersection of cultural capital and political consciousness in the characters of Shamas in Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) and Mr Hai in Yasmin Hai’s The Making of Mr Hai’s Daughter (2008). Bourdieu’s categorisation of types of capital will inform the analysis of these two characters with the aim of showing how characterisation is used by these two British-Pakistani authors to recover the political commitment of the first generation of migrants and to debunk the stereotypes that they are not interested in local politics or that their interest conceals obscure intentions.

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