Transnational emotion work: Punjabi migration, caste and identity

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Drawing upon ten years of original, ethnographic, transnational research within the UK and India, this paper examines emotion work within an Indian Punjabi transnational community. It is argued that emotion work has been, and is, central to the foundation and continued reproduction of Punjabi transnationalism, and to the caste and identity relations therein. While a comprehensive account of all aspects of transnational Punjabi emotion work cannot be provided within the space available, two illustrations of this phenomenon are provided - transnational emotion work for the avoidance of shame and the assertion of high (caste) status and identity, and transnational emotion work through publicly observable consumer display - in order to highlight its significance for analyses of the Punjabi transnational community. This article contributes to a vastly growing literature on transnational emotion work but is unique within the existing body of work on South Asian transnational emotion work, given the specific focus upon Punjab and its analysis of the relationship between emotion work, caste relations and identity within a South Asian transnational community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-295
JournalInternational Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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