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Indentured Identities

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The book explores the historical dimension of Indian indenture from within the lived experience of laborers, who emigrated to Fiji from colonial India a century ago. As these laborers are no longer alive, one could argue that the experience of indenture is no longer accessible, if there had not been recordings of the laborers' life narratives. It is seven of these audio recordings, made for public broadcast, which form the data for a fine-grained language-analysis to unearth the life-world of indenture. Through the merging of Labov's high-point analysis with Bamberg's positioning analysis, the book focuses on the situated discursive performativity of identities, and draws attention to the complex and at times conflicting positions within the life narratives. Sorting through those positions resulted in the ultimate challenge to the essentially homogenizing current master narrative discourse on who can be classified as an indentured laborer, and what signifies as an indenture experience.
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Table of Contents

1. Acknowledgements; 2. Shards of memories; 3. List of figures, maps, pictures, tables; 4. Gloss; 5. Chapter 1. Getting acquainted with the Girmityas; 6. Chapter 2. Gabriel Aiyappa's Girmit; 7. Chapter 3. Behind the scenes of Girmit Gatha; 8. Chapter 4. Transposing the oral into written; 9. Chapter 5. Ram Rattan Mishar's life narrative construction; 10. Chapter 6. Ram Rattan Mishar's identity and agency reconstructions; 11. Restorying Girmit; 12. Chapter 7. Guldhari Maharaj; 13. Chapter 8. Ram Sundar Maharaj; 14. Chapter 9. Jasoda Ramdin; 15. Chapter 10. Ram Dulhari; 16. Chapter 11. Ghori Gosai Part 1; 17. Chapter 12. Ghori Gosai Part 2; 18. Chapter 13. Constructing 'I' through the life narrative; 19. Chapter 14. Conclusions and beginnings; 20. References; 21. Index

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