This volume presents a comprehensive overview of Bangladeshi diaspora in USA. Based on case studies from across Southern California, it discusses themes such as economic advantages of migration beyond sociological models of globalization; Bangladeshi diaspora and Little Bangladesh; oral histories of settlement and incoming migrants; imagined homelands in California; emigration and immigration; trans-business and the American Dream; diaspora and social media; Islam and transnationalism; and Bangladeshi Islam in the USA. It explores the trans-global subjectivity and embodied experiences of Bangladeshi migrants as they negotiate economic opportunity, security and challenges. The book also documents transnational ties that migrants retain; the aspirations and anxieties they face; and what it means to be a Muslim living in the USA in the post 9/11 era.
With its rich, multi-sited ethnographic narratives set in transnational studies and studies of globalization, this book will interest scholars and researchers of diaspora studies, migration studies, South Asian studies, political sociology, social anthropology, sociology and political studies, international relations and those interested in Bangladesh.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Ralph Grillo
1. Settlement of the Bangladeshis in the US
2. Multi-sited Ethnography and Bangladeshi Diaspora
3. Southern California Ethnographies
4. Bangladeshi Diaspora in New York City
5. Movement Across Desh and Bidesh
6. Islam and Transnationalism
Conclusions: Diaspora, Travel and Connectedness
Zahir Ahmed is a Professor of Anthropology at Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He received his BSS and MSS in Sociology from the University of Chittagong and his MA and DPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex. He has published several articles and book chapters. He has worked on the Bangladeshi diaspora in London, Birmingham, Leicester and Brighton, while affiliated with the University of Manchester and University of Sussex. He also received funding from the IIES as a Senior Fulbright Fellow to conduct research on the Bangladeshi diaspora in USA, and Southern California in particular. During this, he was affiliated with the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. He has collaborated with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, London on the research project “Parliamentary Democracy and Public Engagement in Westminster, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.” He is a founder chair of the Society for Anthropological Research Bangladesh (SARB). He is also a long-time member of American Anthropological Association (AAA), and currently serves on a specially commissioned Task Force on the Proliferation of Border and Security Walls.
‘Little Bangladesh: Voices from America is an important contribution to the unfolding story of the Bangladeshi diaspora, told so often in terms of communities in the UK and Europe rather than their counterparts across the Atlantic. Written by Professor Zahir Ahmed, one of the most experienced and knowledgeable Bangladeshi ethnographers of his generation, the book provides a wealth of ethnographic detail, describing the live-styles, work and settlement of families and individuals intent on making new lives in the US whilst continuing enduring transnational links with Bangladesh. This accessible and absorbing book is a vital resource for all researchers, students and general readers interested in Bangladeshis in the USA.’
Katy Gardner, Professor, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
‘In his book, Zahir Ahmed traces the experiences of Bangladeshi immigrants not only in southern California but in several other key locations, and his account will resonate with many of those he interviewed as well as with professional anthropologists. He has written engagingly of his own personal explorations and discoveries as he presents the words of Bangladeshi men and women pursuing their lives in the United States, and he often links their diasporic lives with their family histories back in Bangladesh. Ahmed's work is both pioneering and important in the field of diaspora studies.’
Karen B. Leonard, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine, USA