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Title: The 'Orient' in the 'Occident' : the social, cultural and spatial dynamics of Moroccan diaspora formations in Granada, Spain
Authors: Finlay, Robin Neil
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Contributing to research on geographies of diasporas and migration, this thesis examines how the Moroccan diaspora in the city of Granada, Spain, has transformed urban space, and conversely, how the spatiality of Granada engenders distinctive diasporic identity formations, senses of belonging and spatial practices. Using the geographical insight that diasporas alter and are altered by the places they inhabit and that identities and belongings are often spatialised and spatially contingent, the research examines how these processes function for the Moroccan diaspora living in Granada. Granada’s mixed Christian and Islamic heritage, its relatively recent transformation from an ethnically homogenous space into a diaspora space, and the close proximity of the Maghreb and Africa, all herald Granada as a rich arena to explore social, cultural and spatial processes of diasporas and migration. Conceptually, the research is positioned within urban geographies of diasporas. The centrality of the urban spatial scale in diaspora formations and experiences, rather than the national, is demonstrated and examined. The thesis focuses on four concepts that are at the core of geographies of diasporas: space, belonging, home and identity. Drawing on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork, the thesis provides an empirical analysis that is grounded in the everyday and intimate spaces of the Moroccan diaspora. As such it responds to calls for grounded studies on diasporas that take locations and their contexts seriously. Overall, the thesis underlines the fundamental centrality of place for diaspora formations, and argues that the experiences and perceptions of the Moroccan diaspora in Granada provide distinctive narratives of European urban diversity.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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