Call for Papers on
"Indigenous Mobilities in Bangladesh"
Special Issue on
"Indigenous Mobilities in Bangladesh"
Editors: Eva Gerharz (Ruhr University Bochum, Germany) Nasir Uddin (University of Chittagong, Bangladesh) Ellen Bal (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Indigenous populations in Bangladesh have generally been thought of in terms of stasis rather than mobility. Savage images still dominate public, activist and academic representations of indigenous people in Bangladesh. Therefore, the tools, which have been developed to grasp their realities and to support their causes seem unfit to analyze the current transformations of people’s everyday-lives. Embarking on consolidated findings that globalization processes have led to an increase of people’s mobility in various ways, the contributions to this special issue seek to provide empirically grounded insights into the comprehensive nature of ongoing social changes. We propose that three dimensions of mobility can be distinguished.
First, globalization has spurred the movement of concepts and images all over the world. Over the last two decades, it has been observed that the use of modern means of communication and media changes people’s everyday-lives in significant ways. On the one hand, it opens new venues for acquiring knowledge in the realm of consumer culture, for example, as a result of which individuals’ lifestyles change. On the other hand, trans-local flows of knowledge may provide new options for relating political demands to internationally recognized normative ideals, such as democracy, equality or human rights.
Second, spatial mobility increasingly structures indigenous people’s lives. Land scarcity resulting from demographic changes, ethnicized conflicts, economic transformations, intervention of NGOs, and changing images of “good life” force people to consider alternative income-generating opportunities in the industrial sector, urban centers and the white-collar market. Migration aspirations are also driven by a desire for better education and professional jobs. Whereas rural-urban migration continues to constitute a prevalent aspiration, transnational and even transcontinental migration provides new options.
Social mobility, a third dimension of mobility, relates in particular to migration as a strategy to increase the standard of living. Getting access to the skilled employment may go hand in hand with upward mobility. Hence educational migration is intrinsically interlinked with a transformation of social structure. However, we also take into account the migration of “outsiders” into areas where indigenous people used to constitute majorities influence opportunities of upward mobility of local people who choose not to migrate. The loss of land and decreasing access to natural resources as a result of inmigration may even lead to down-ward social mobility.
This special issue aims to include contributions based on recent research on issues of indigenous mobility in Bangladesh in the defined areas. In particular, the following questions will be addressed: How does media consumption change and impact social cohesion? What motivates indigenous people’s aspirations to migrate; which destinations are chosen and why? In how far do state practices and policies play a role in these processes? Which modes of production newly emerge and how do they affect social inequalities? Does educational mobility offer new options for ensuring social security? How do family relations and clan hierarchies alter? Do experiences of mobility (immigration and emigration) affect indigenous identities and feelings of belonging? Are these experiences perceived as a threat to notions of authenticity, in other words, is migration seen as a potential threat to indigenous claims towards the state?
Contributions based on original research are welcome. Please send an abstract of 350 words and a short academic biography of 100 words to email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: March 30th, 2014
Dr. Nasir Uddin
Department of Anthropology
University of Chittagong
Bangladesh Email: email@example.com
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