Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

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Title: The Politics of Nostalgia: Social Memory and National Identity Among Diaspora Tibetans in New York City
Language of title: English
Author/Creator: Amy Lavine

Description: This dissertation focuses on the community of diaspora Tibetans living in and around New York City, and their quest to imagine their homeland as a kind of Buddhist utopia separated from the political and economic hardships that mire Tibet today. Such a quest can be seen in the emergence of narratives of nostalgia generated by Tibetans living in exile. The production of an idealized site within the diasporic imaginary is a crucial element in any displaced people's attempts to reproduce culture in the absence of important aspects of its physical basis. Integral to such strategies is the development of narratives that portray life in the homeland in idyllic or utopian terms so that it is possible to achieve and maintain the impetus necessary to re-inhabit it with full claims to independence. An important component of this collective attempt to generate such ideal images of the homeland is the arousal of a desire to remain faithful to a particular image of the past and ultimately to return to it. Dialectically, exile politics are also influenced by the emergence of narratives in the refugee community. Any discourse concerning life in Tibet, present or past, which is cultivated by Tibetans living in exile must negotiate with the repressive measures taken by the Chinese against the Tibetan people. Further, diaspora removes people from spaces they regard not merely as "home," but as "sacred ground." Tibetans consider the Tibetan plateau to be the ground on which their entire cultural and religious heritage was established. But exile creates situations in which the very bases of social memory and collective identity are necessarily reshaped. With each successive generation born into exile, the remnants of Tibetan culture are being gradually diffused

Publisher: UMI
Publisher country: United States
Published Date: 2001

Published Date Note: 2001 PhD dissertation for the University of Chicago

Composition date note (non-international date):
Extent: 226 pp.
Classification: Tibetan and Himalayan -- Society -- Identity Issues -- Tibetan Identity in Exile
Cultural Coverage: Tibet
Temporal coverage: 20th century CE
21st century CE
Language: English
Format: Print media (print or manuscript, including PDFs)
Resource Type: Dissertation
Release Flag: OK for viewing
Date Of Record Creation: 2006-04-06 17:39:15
Date Last Modified: 2006-04-06 17:39:15
Cumulative Rating: this resource has a 1 star rating
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