Item description for Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000 (International Comparative Social Studies, Vol. 9) by Mark-Anthony Falzon...
This volume looks at a diasporic community of Indian traders. It draws on anthropological field research as well as archival sources to portray a cosmopolitan group united by ties of kinship and community which are reproduced across space through processes such as the circulation of women and family visiting. These ties have their counterpart in the economic sphere which is characterised by sets of translocal trading linkages, credit relations, and a heightened knowledge of markets and a readiness to explore them. A model for the relation between mobility and commerce is thus explored.
The book, which includes a number of maps and original photographs, is ground-breaking in that it uses the technique of 'multi-sited ethnography', in which data from different sites are juxtaposed into a broad synthesis. It is geared towards a broad audience.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000 (International Comparative Social Studies, Vol. 9)?
Multi-sited ethnography at its best Nov 25, 2007
Mark-Anthony Falzon has produced a fine multi-sited ethnography, focusing on Sindhi businesspeople settled in Malta, London, and Bombay but evoking through their eyes connections to kinsmen and business partners in many other places. He uses his geneologies and interviews skillfully to establish the changing patterns of trade and residence before and after the 1947 partition of India that sent Hindu Sindhis out of the towns and villages of Sindh (now in Pakistan)and made Bombay the new heart of this cosmopolitan community; he uses them as well to theorize about business communities, showing how the Sindhis bridge the global and the local and link the scholarly fields of "merchant diasporas" and "immigrant entrepreneurs." The Sindhi relationships with nation-states and with each other could both be drawn upon, the latter especially in times of hardship when politics disrupted the former. This is a fascinating, highly competent study that will be of interest for both empirical and theoretical reasons to anthropologists, sociologists, and historians. It should also interest a more general readership, as it is well and accessibly written.
Review by Aparna Rayaprol (University of Hyderabad) in "Contributions to Indian Sociology (n.s.)" 40, 2 (2006): 268-70) Oct 20, 2006
"Falzon's is a rich ethnography of the Sindhis and an exemplar of the anthropological method. He meets the challenge of producing a translocal ethnography of a business community by using interviews and observations, and charts genealogies that map the spatiality of Sindhi social relations. The major challenge for him as an ethnographer was that the work became a multi-sited ethnography, in three places - Malta, London, and Bombay ... By locating his ethnographies in these three cities, Falzon uncovered a large amount of data on Sindhis all over the world. Falzon's work is not only useful for students of the Indian diaspora, it can also serve well in courses that seek to understand business and trade relations through an anthropological lens."