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Kabyles in Britain: Negotiating identities in a transnational setting

Kabyles in Britain: Negotiating identities in a transnational setting
Kabyles in Britain: Negotiating identities in a transnational setting
This thesis examines the everyday and online practices of identity among Kabyle immigrants in the UK who are simultaneously embedded within a Kabyle transnational social field. The Kabyles are an Amazigh ethnic sub-group indigenous to northern Algeria, many Kabyles have emigrated abroad as a direct consequence of the subjugation of Kabylia by the French colonisation and the social and political instability in post-independent Algeria. While the overwhelming majority moved to France and Canada, their immigration to the UK is relatively recent and small-scale. This provides the context for this thesis. It focuses on a varied group of Kabyles who have settled in the UK over the past few years and examines their engagement with ‘being Kabyle’ in three key sites: The Kabyle/Amazigh Cultural Organisation in London; their everyday encounters with Kabyles and non-Kabyles in different spaces and the participants’ interactions within the digital world. Based on ethnographic and interview research the thesis examines how the Kabyle/Amazigh identity and language which are currently undergoing a degree of recognition and revitalisation in Algeria, are being negotiated both at a public and personal level in a relatively new migratory setting. The study draws on the notion of a transnational social field to include the participants’ orientation towards Algeria and other sites as they engage online as part of expressing and revitalising their everyday ethnicity in the UK. The analysis suggests that the formation of Kabyleness within the transnational social field involves the creation of overlapping and fluid boundaries between and within the social fields caused by the multiple understandings of Kabyle cultural capital. Therefore, by way of mapping the Kabyle immigrants’ activities within the transnational social field, I show their complex, multiple and situational affiliations, where Kabyleness is entangled with gender, age, language, history and/or politics.
University of Southampton
Belabbas, Souhila
012b0949-3844-47d8-b2f2-0f8001f3063e
Belabbas, Souhila
012b0949-3844-47d8-b2f2-0f8001f3063e
Armbruster, Heidemarie
44560127-8f08-4969-8b47-e19f21f23c37
Bernasek, Lisa
73ff920f-617a-4ab1-9b07-c42bb799e919

Belabbas, Souhila (2020) Kabyles in Britain: Negotiating identities in a transnational setting. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 255pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis examines the everyday and online practices of identity among Kabyle immigrants in the UK who are simultaneously embedded within a Kabyle transnational social field. The Kabyles are an Amazigh ethnic sub-group indigenous to northern Algeria, many Kabyles have emigrated abroad as a direct consequence of the subjugation of Kabylia by the French colonisation and the social and political instability in post-independent Algeria. While the overwhelming majority moved to France and Canada, their immigration to the UK is relatively recent and small-scale. This provides the context for this thesis. It focuses on a varied group of Kabyles who have settled in the UK over the past few years and examines their engagement with ‘being Kabyle’ in three key sites: The Kabyle/Amazigh Cultural Organisation in London; their everyday encounters with Kabyles and non-Kabyles in different spaces and the participants’ interactions within the digital world. Based on ethnographic and interview research the thesis examines how the Kabyle/Amazigh identity and language which are currently undergoing a degree of recognition and revitalisation in Algeria, are being negotiated both at a public and personal level in a relatively new migratory setting. The study draws on the notion of a transnational social field to include the participants’ orientation towards Algeria and other sites as they engage online as part of expressing and revitalising their everyday ethnicity in the UK. The analysis suggests that the formation of Kabyleness within the transnational social field involves the creation of overlapping and fluid boundaries between and within the social fields caused by the multiple understandings of Kabyle cultural capital. Therefore, by way of mapping the Kabyle immigrants’ activities within the transnational social field, I show their complex, multiple and situational affiliations, where Kabyleness is entangled with gender, age, language, history and/or politics.

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Published date: October 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450229
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450229
PURE UUID: a8f5aa5b-1df0-46cd-a624-41d1cde689bc

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Date deposited: 16 Jul 2021 16:34
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:48

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Contributors

Author: Souhila Belabbas
Thesis advisor: Heidemarie Armbruster
Thesis advisor: Lisa Bernasek

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