In Home and Sense of Belonging among Iraqi Kurds in the UK , Ali Zalme explores how Iraqi Kurdish generations in the UK conceptualise home and belonging. Zalme challenges the essentialist and nationalist approach that often dominates discussions of diasporic community research, instead promoting perspectives from individuals’ experiences and their social practices. Home and Sense of Belonging investigates the Iraqi Kurdish community using a bottom-up approach, analyzing the new generation of Kurdish immigrants in the UK as a new culture with complex practices and rituals of their own.
Throughout the book, Ali Zalme focuses on lived experiences from Iraqi Kurdish diasporic communities in the United Kingdom and acknowledges the diversity of both gender and generational distinctions. Using an autoethnographic approach and interviews with Iraqi Kurdish immigrants in the UK, Zalme questions the homogeneity of Kurdishness and examines its particularities in diaspora.
Ali Zalme obtained his PhD in sociology from UWE-Bristol and is an independent researcher.
Chapter 1: Reflections on Theory and Methodology
Chapter 2: Historical and Political Background of the Kurdish Struggle
Chapter 3: Literature Review: Debating Diaspora
Chapter 4: Imagining and Conceptualising the Idea of ‘Home’ among Iraqi-Kurds Generations in Diaspora
Chapter 5: The Dynamic Identities of Kurdish Women in Diasporas
Chapter 6: Iraqi-Kurdish in the UK: A State of Limbo
The way diasporic communities in the West see themselves, and the extent to which they feel they belong, have become hot topics in recent days. This innovative, sensitive, and compellingly readable case study of the Kurds of Bristol, England questions some long-held assumptions not only about Kurdish identity but about ethnic identity more generally. The author -an Iraqi Kurd who sees himself as a member of 'a diaspora within a diaspora' - is well placed to provide new insights into the way family dynamics, gender and personal histories inform peoples' sense of themselves.
Ali Zalme offers a compelling analysis of Iraqi-Kurdish experiences in the U.K. by emphasizing complexities within diasporic life stories. Emphasizing a qualitative approach that links diverse experiences of Iraqi-Kurdish memories of ‘back home’ to intergenerational constructions of perceptions of 'home' in the U.K., Zalme challenges long-standing patterns of homogenised diasporic communities. He highlights micro-level socio-economic perspectives to more fully contextualize accounts by Iraqi-Kurdish families in the U.K. Zalme shares ethnographic insights that elevate diasporic perspectives, which frequently have been silenced or excluded because of their social status, age, gende,r or ethnic self-definition. This book is a notable contribution to the growing literature on Kurdish diaspora studies.
This book conceptualizes the experiences of the Iraqi Kurdish community in the U.K., focusing on their sense of home and belonging. It is a strongly argued narrative of transnational displacement, shifting identity and self-positioning between different geographical and cultural locations from a generational and gendered perspective. Drawn from an empirical study with a wide range of data, this publication goes beyond the simplistic account of diaspora, home and identity, encompassing different contentious views, theories and concepts, with a careful analysis of these highly complicated political, ethnographic and existential questions. This is an important and timely book, which certainly enriches the limited academic literature on the Kurdish Diaspora.
Through the testimony of first and second generation Kurds in the U.K., Ali Zalme challenges outsiders' perceptions of refugee communities by exploring the ambiguities and almost mythic qualities of 'home', a particularly painful concept for the literally stateless Kurdish diaspora.