The significance of ethnic identity upon tourism participation within the Pakistani community
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AbstractThis research study examines the role and significance of ethnic identity upon tourism participation within the Pakistani community. The aim of the research is to analyse the inter-relationship between a Pakistani ethnic identity and participation in tourism of a Pakistani diaspora (Luton, United Kingdom). The research concentrates upon the importance of the return visit to the ancestral homeland of Pakistan and the impact of this visit upon the formation of identity. This thesis argues that a Pakistani ethnic identity is a significant force in shaping the tourism mobilities, behaviours and experiences of first and second-generation Pakistanis. The research enquiry uses a qualitative methodological approach to investigate the tourism journeys of the Pakistani community. Interpretive ethnography is chosen to interpret the understandings and meanings of tourism to the Pakistani diaspora researched in this study. Researcher reflexivity is also included to examine the impact of the research process on the personal and professional identity of a Pakistani fieldworker investigating a community she considers as her 'own'. The interpretive ethnographic findings illustrate a close association exists between tourism and ethnic identity amongst the Pakistani diaspora. The research findings show understandings of tourism in the Pakistani community are predominately based upon journeys to the ancestral homeland. The three main motivations for retuming to Pakistan are for purposes of reunification, diasporic networking and preservation of a Pakistani ethnic identity. Migration is a key factor influencing post-migration tourism mobilities of the Pakistani diaspora to Pakistan. The tourism journey to Pakistan is held as being fundamental for the confirmation of a Pakistani ethnic identity and establishing a collective sense of 'Pakistaniness' with the local and global Pakistani diaspora. The research findings indicate several barriers to travel exist in the Pakistani community, which restrict the tourism mobilities of the Pakistanis to tourism places other than the ancestral homeland. The research study concludes that across all generations the meanings of tourism, motivations to travel, the importance of the history of migration and the impact of the return visit bring to the forefront matters of identity and belonging. These issues give rise to evolving questions of identity in terms of what it is to be a Pakistani and a British Pakistani in Pakistan and Britain, which subsequently affect attitudes to travel, tourism experiences and patterns of behaviour. The research contributes to furthering the understanding of the role of tourism in diasporic and ethnic communities, theoretically comprehending the role of tourism as an actor in identity formation and developing methodological practice for analysing the relationship between tourism and identity. Suggestions for future research are proposed to investigate the tourism mobilities of the Pakistani diaspora in Britain and in other global diasporic communities.
CitationAli, N. (2008) 'The significance of ethnic identity upon tourism participation within the Pakistani community' PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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