Sikhs at Large

Sikhs at Large

Product ID: 23521

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Author: Verne A Dusenbery
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 337
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195685989


Contemporary dynamics and processes of globalization have facilitated the spatial movement of communities, such as the Sikhs, that are no longer territorially limited to a certain area. This has given rise to an urgent need to revise both conventional notions and theoretical understandings to accommodate the new deterritorialized concept of ‘culture’.

Sikhs at Large brings together different perspectives on the cultural and political dimensions of Sikh subject making as a typical transnational community and of Sikhism as a global religion. It explores Sikh ethnosociology or the ways in which Sikhs understand and engage with their social worlds. How they respond to the political settings in which they live their lives and the cultural assertions and political stratagems they employ in the process of reterritorializing themselves across the globe has also been discussed.

Based on ethnographic and textual research this volume provides a comprehensive framework for looking at Sikh discourse and practices. It reflects upon issues of Sikh identity and self-representation, analysing the ways and contexts in which Sikh religion, culture, and politics are actively produced and reproduced in multiple sites around the world. It also examines the intersection of multiculturalism and transnationalism, highlighting the ways in which diasporan Sikhs have experienced and dealt with nation-state ideologies, policies and practices of religious and ethnic management, as well as the shared perceptions of themselves by others in their countries of residence.

Questioning the unreflective use of the term ‘diaspora’, this volume invites consideration of the multiple sources and alternative narratives of Sikh identity.

‘… an excellent contribution to narrowing that gap. In it he reveals with much insight the problems which they face and the various strategies which they [the Sikhs] have adopted in coming to terms with their new situation. The collection is highly recommended.’
— W. H. McLeold, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Otago

‘Well-theorized, relevant to contemporary social, religious and political issues, and beautifully written …. This masterful set of incisive essays captures the ongoing transformation of Sikh identities, communities, and institutions as Sikhism goes global.’
— Karen Isaksen Leonard, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

‘No other scholar has… analyse[d] such a varied range of issues confronting overseas Sikh communities These essays should be essential reading for students of South Asian studies, religion, sociology and social anthropology.’
—Darshan S. Tatla, Director, Punjab Centre for Migration Studies, Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar





1. Punjabi Sikhs and Gora Sikhs; Conflicting Assertions
Sikh Identity in North America
2. On the Moral Sensitivities of Sikhs in North America
3. The Word as Guru: Sikh scripture and the Translation
4. A Sikh ‘Diaspora’? Contested Identities and
Constructed Realities
5. ‘Nation’ or ‘World Religion’? Master Narratives of
Sikh Identity
6. ‘Through Wisdom, Dispense Charity ’: Religious and Culture
Underpinnings of Diasporan Sikh Philanthropy in Punjab


7. Canadian Ideology and Public policy: The Impact on
Vancouver Sikh Ethnic and Religious Adaptation
8. Socializing Sikhs in Singapore; soliciting the State’s Support
9. The poetics and Politics of Recognition; Diasporan Sikhs
In Pluralist Polities
10. Diasporic Imagings and the conditions of Possibility:
Sikhs and the State in Southeast Asia
11. Sikh Positionings in Australia and the ‘Diaspora’ Concept
12. Who Speaks for Sikhs in the Diaspora? Collective
Representation in Multicultural States