• (Im)mobilities of older Pakistani female migrants and material culture: a multigenerational perspective on gift-giving

      Ali, Nazia; Suleman, Rukeya (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2017-04-05)
      The purpose of the paper is to discuss, from a multigenerational perspective, the (im)mobilities of older Pakistani women migrants in the UK and the material culture of gift-giving, which moves with (and without) them to and from the ancestral homeland of Pakistan. A multigenerational perspective allows us to comprehend the collective importance of the mobilities of older Pakistani female migrants in upholding the culturally significant ritualistic custom of gift-giving. The research is situated within the theoretical context of the ‘New Mobilities Paradigm’ to understand the mobility patterns of older migrants and the mobilisation of material culture. We find that the process of coordinating and exchanging gifts leads to a great deal of physical mobility, within localities and national spaces, but also internationally across different diasporic locations. In doing so, older Pakistani women migrants perform an important role as ‘gift agents’ in the host and home countries, assuring their own social status as well as that of their families. Importantly, the resulting mobility of older Pakistani women empowers their less mobile peers to also participate in gift-giving. This paper concludes by extending the concept of ‘mobility practices’ to include the mobility of gifts as a practice, which can compensate for physical immobility in older age due to ill-health, fragility, or other factors. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.