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NATIVES AND NEWCOMERS, MARRIAGE AND BELONGING - South Asian social networks of immigration, work and settlement in the Sheffield area during the early twentieth century

Holland, David (2019) NATIVES AND NEWCOMERS, MARRIAGE AND BELONGING - South Asian social networks of immigration, work and settlement in the Sheffield area during the early twentieth century. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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David Holland - Complete thesis final draft 07 07 2019.pdf
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Abstract

Apart from the port riots of 1919-20, historians have generally ascribed little significance to the presence of non-white immigrants in Britain before 1948. However, this thesis contends that the settlement ‘bridgeheads’ established by South Asian pioneers played a key role in aiding mass immigration to Britain after 1948, in the post-Partition, post-British Nationality Act, post-Windrush era. These bridgeheads were formed by alliances between white working-class natives and South Asians, mostly former seafarers, but including dedicated pedlars, through social networks of marriage and friendship, as workmates and neighbours. They formed nodes on a growing trans-imperial network which facilitated the further migration of Indian kin and countrymen. Marriages took place across Britain, particularly in ports, but also inland, and a settlement of natives and newcomers, previously un-researched, developed in the Sheffield area after the First World War. Many of these men from British India (now Pakistan and Indian Punjab), married working-class women native to the city and raised families together. The men’s original intention was a sojourning, economic migration, but their unions with white natives appear to have modified their adherence to a ‘myth of return’ to their family farms in colonial India. Indeed, they opted instead to remain in Britain with their new families. Examining the nature of the immigrants’ social networks, and using the experience of the Sheffield area as its focus, this thesis also examines the processes of cultural exchange and co-operation between (mainly white) natives and immigrant newcomers. Rather than adhere to a conflict-based historiography, this detailed analysis of early British immigration history situates the role of co-operative and ethnically-mixed social networks centrally in the non-white settlement of Britain. By doing so, the thesis aims to provide a nuanced assessment of the extent to which contemporary ideologies of Empire and race were internalised by natives, particularly within the working-class communities to which the South Asian newcomers belonged.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr David Holland
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 10:58
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 10:58
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24413

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