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Embodied global flows : immigration and transnational networks between British Columbia, Canada, and… Walton-Roberts, Margaret 2001

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EMBODIED G L O B A L FLOWS: IMMIGRATION A N D TRANSNATIONAL. NETWORKS B E T W E E N BRITISH COLUMBIA, C A N A D A , A N D PUNJAB, INDIA. by MARGARET WALTON-ROBERTS B.A. Hons., University of Manchester, 1991 M.A. , University of British Columbia, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We a c c e p t t h i s thesis a s conforming to the required s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 2001 © Margaret Walton-Roberts, 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T Canadian politicians have stated that India-Canada relations are grounded in "people-to-people links". These links have been formed over the last century through a process of immigration that articulates specific regions of India—Doaba in Punjab—with particular regions of Canada—initially British Columbia, and now the metropolitan areas of Toronto and Vancouver. Employing the theoretical lens of transnationalism and a methodological approach based on networks, this thesis argues that the presence of extensive transnational linkages connecting immigrants to their sites of origin, rather than limit national Canadian citizenship practice, can actually enhance it. I examine how Punjabi immigrants activate linkages that span borders and fuse distant communities and localities, as well as highlighting how the state is involved in the regulation and monitoring of such connections. M y findings indicate that the operation of state officials varies according to the nature of the exchange. Whereas immigration is differentially controlled at the micro-scale of the individual according to a range of factors such as race, class and gender; inanimate objects such as goods and capital are less regulated, despite the significant material effects associated with their transmission. Indian immigrants are not however, passive recipients of state regulation at the scale of the individual, and instead emerge as active participants in a Canadian democratic system that enables the individual to challenge certain bureaucratic decisions and hold federal departments accountable. In addition, contrary to ideas of transnational immigrant actors possessing new forms of transnational or "post-national" citizenship, this research suggests that immigrants value the traditional right of citizenship to protect national borders and determine who may gain access. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iii List of Tables vii List of Figures viii Acknowledgements ix INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER ONE TRANSNATIONALISM: CONNECTIVITY 15 ACROSS SPACE AND SCALE Defining Transnationalism 18 Expanding the Geographical Focus of Transnationalism 24 Transnationalism and Multiple Outcomes 28 Connectivity: Intensification and deepening of 31 transnational social and spatial articulations Circulation: Increased material flows 34 Transformations I: Transnational political networks 38 Transformations II: New forms of citizenship practice 40 Geography and Transnationalism 44 Population geography - 49 Area studies, development and geography 50 Conclusion 54 CHAPTER TWO METHODS AND NETWORKS 56 Scientific Objectivity, Post-Positivism and Geography 56 Diverse Methodologies and Transnational Network 63 Approaches Networks 65 Research Methods and 'the Field' 72 Appropriateness of Methodology 73 Interview Practice 77 Procedures for analysis 79 Building credibility 80 Entering the Transnational 'Field' 81 Conclusion 86 iii S E C T I O N T W O T R A N S N A T I O N A L C I R C U L A T I O N S A N D T H E S T A T E : P E O P L E , C A P I T A L A N D G O O D S 88 C H A P T E R T H R E E I M M I G R A T I O N A N D T H E N A T I O N - S T A T E Bombs and Bonds: Indian Nationalism and the Non-Resident-Indian (NRI) Creating transnational citizens NRIs and the Indian State Brain drain or brain circulation Class Position and NRI reception in India Indian Migration and the Canadian State Indian immigration to Canada: history and general patterns Immigration Policy and the Canadian State Managing flows, or "getting the mix right" Micro state practices: visitor visas and mobility Conclusion 90 91 93 99 103 106 109 110 114 117 119 123 C H A P T E R F O U R I M M I G R A T I O N , T H E S T A T E A N D C I T I Z E N S H I P 125 Citizenship and the State 126 Transnationalism From Above or Below? 129 Transnational Responses and Strategies I: Negotiating 131 Around the State Misrepresentation and irregular migration 132 Regulating human traffic 137 Transnational Responses and Strategies II: Immigration 139 Consultants World Wide Immigration Consultants: transnational 141 actors Transnational Responses and Strategies III: Multicultural 150 Democracy Punjab power: Canada's official presence in Punjab 155 Conclusion 157 C H A P T E R F I V E I M M I G R A T I O N A N D C A P I T A L F L O W S : T H E D I F F I C U L T I E S O F E N V I S I O N I N G C A P I T A L F L O W S 159 Global Remittances Indian Remittances and Capital Inflows Punjab and Vancouver Measuring Canada-India Capital Flows Vancouver 161 164 168 171 177 iv Punjab to Vancouver capital flows Conclusion 183 189 C H A P T E R SIX T R A D E AND I M M I G R A T I O N Economic Research on Trade and Immigration Questioning economic measurements and models Social Science Interpretations of Immigration and Trade Trade and Immigration: The India-Canada Case Transacting Trade: Ideal Types and Stereotypes Immigrant traders The Canadian business community and economy Non-entrepreneurial immigrants and trade creation Decentering the Economic Conclusion 191 192 194 197 198 203 203 210 213 217 219 SECTION T H R E E C H A P T E R S E V E N T R A N S F O R M A T I O N S A N D T R A N S N A T I O N A L P R A C T I C E S NON-RESIDENT INDIANS AND T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F S O C I E T Y AND S P A C E IN PUNJAB, INDIA The History and Significance of International Migration for India Palahi: The Global Village Transnationalism and immigrant settlement Honouring Parents and Luring Children: Dhesian Kahna Transnationalism and immigrant settlement General Processes Spatial and temporal linkages Myth of return and»actual processes of return Demographic markers Ongoing circulation Inter-generational issues Community conflict Conclusion 221 223 225 226 233 235 237 241 242 243 245 247 249 251 253 C H A P T E R E I G H T V A N C O U V E R AND T H E P R O D U C T I O N O F 256 T R A N S N A T I O N A L SPACE Quantifying the Presence of South Asian Canadians in 257 Greater Vancouver Numerical profiles 258 Surrey, British Columbia 262 Social networks and settlement choices 263 Deterritorialized Punjab: Language, Religion and Global 266 Sikhism The presentation of Sikhism to the Vancouver 281 "mainstream" Conclusion 284 C H A P T E R NINE G E N D E R E D M I G R A T I O N AND T H E S T A T E 286 Women, Migration and Marriage 286 The Status of Women and Marriage Norms in Northern 289 India Male preference 289 Dowry 293 Indian Women and Migration to Canada 295 Male preference 297 Marriage practices in the diaspora 297 NRI Grooms and Transnational Marriages 300 Status, deception and migration 307 Marriage Migration and the State 309 Immigrant advocates and the state: the separation of 313 race and gender Conclusion 320 C H A P T E R T E N C O N C L U S I O N 322 Transnational Networks 322 Circulation and the Problems of Measurement 324 Immigration, Citizenship and the State 328 Positionality 330 BIBLIOGRAPHY 334 APPENDIX 1 359 vi LIST OF TABLES Number Title Page Table 2.1 Objectivity/Subjectivity, Research Purpose and Means of 61 Data Collection Table 3.1 Location of People of Indian Origin by Global Region 96 Table 3.2 Top Source Regions for Family Class Immigration to 112 Canada. Number of Landings and Percentage of Total Annual Family Class to Canada Table 3.3 Visitor Visa Processing at New Delhi CIC Offices 121 Table 4.1 Member of Parliament representations to the New Delhi 152 Mission, 1997-2000 Table 4.2 Top Ten Member of Parliament Representations to the 153 New Delhi Mission 1999-2000, and Riding Locations Table 5.1 Worker Remittances and Exports 165 Table 5.2 Total Rural Scheduled Commercial Bank Deposits and 172 Number of Offices for Selected States Table 5.3 Total deposits in Commercial Banks in Punjab, 1999 174 Table 5.4 Number of Applicants Granted Permanent Residency 186 Status Under The Investment Program by Country, 1986-1998. Table 6.1 Major Trading Partners with India, 1999. 199 Table 6.2 Canada-India Trade Statistics 200 Table 7.1 Total Number and Percentage of Indian/South Asian 247 Origin Population in Canada and Britain Over 45 Years Old Table 8.1 Distribution of East-Indian/South Asian Origin 259 Population in Canada, 1941- 1996 Table 8.2 South Asian Origin population in Toronto Montreal and 259 Vancouver CMAs Table 8.3 South Asian Origin Population in Selected Communities 260 within Toronto and Vancouver as Percent of Other South Asian Origin Totals Table 8. 4 Distribution and Composition of Selected Immigration 262 Classes Table 8.5 South Asian Born and Non-Immigrant Population in 264 Surrey by Employment Sector Table 8.6 Punjabi Mother Tongue Immigrant Landings in BC 265 1980-1998 Listed by Last Country of Permanent Residence Table 8.7 Punjabi Mother Tongue Speakers, 1991 and 1996 272 vu L I S T O F F I G U R E S Number Title Page Figure 1 Map of Punjab 14 Figure 1.1 Transnationalism: Conditions and Outcomes 30 Figure 2.1 Research Networks 75 Figure 3.1 Map of India 95 Figure 3.2 Indian Immigration to Canada 1956-1999. I l l Figure 3.3 Immigration from India to Canada, Ontario, 111 British Columbia, and Vancouver, 1986-98 Figure 3.4 Immigration to Canada from India by class, 1994- 112 1998. Figure 3.5 Composition of family class immigration from 113 India, 1995-1999 Figure 4.1 Immigration consultants in Chandigarh 146 Figure 4.2 WWICS Newspaper Advertisement 146 Figure 5.1 Top Worker Remittances Debit Countries 1990- 163 1998 Figure 5.2 Top Worker Remittances Receiving Countries, 163 1990-1998 Figure 5.3 Worker Remittances, NRI Deposits, External 164 Assistance and FDI flows Into India, 1990-1999 Figure 5.4 Banking photos Phagwara 175 Figure 5.5 Banking photos Phagwara 175 Figure 5.6 Financial Service Provision to Global Sites of the 178 Indian Diaspora Figure 6.1 Canada-India Import/Export Figures 200 Figure 7.1 Palahi images 227 Figure 7.2 Palahi images 227 Figure 7.3 Overseas Location of Residents from 40 Palahi 230 Households Affected by International Migration Figure 7.4 Palahi houses 231 Figure 7.5 Palahi houses 231 Figure 7.6 Dhesian Kahna images 236 Figure 7.7 Dhesian Kahna images 236 Figure 8.1 Map of G V R D showing South Asian settlement 261 Figure 8.2 Simon Fraser University Punjabi Student Society 276 Cultural Event Figure 9.1 Matrimonial advertisements 304 Figure 9.2 Wedding registration. 304 viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are a number of people I must thank both in Canada and India who have made this research possible. My gratitude extends to all those who assisted with my research, but in Vancouver I must thank G.S. Dhesi, A. Sull, and the Gill family. In India a huge debt of gratitude goes to Gurmit Singh and his family for acting as my hosts and more importantly, my family away from home. Officials with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs assisted me, especially in Delhi and Mumbia. At UBC my supervisor Dan Hiebert, and my committee, David Ley, Harjot Oberoi, Youtien Tsing and Trevor Barnes, have provided important support and encouragement. I thank Geraldine Pratt for the opportunity to be involved with the Metropolis Community Studies project, which examined issues of immigrant settlement in Surrey. Fellow graduate students in the Geography department at UBC have provided an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment, but I am particularly grateful to Jennifer Hyndman, Alison Mountz and Caroline Desbiens, who have been constant companions through the trials and tribulations of completing a PhD. My research would not have been possible without funding, and I am happy to acknowledge the support of the Indo-Canadian Shastri Institute, who funded my work in India, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the University of British Columbia for Graduate Fellowships, and The Vancouver Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis (RUM) for research funds. Finally I thank Ben for being supportive and understanding throughout this whole process, and William, whose arrival marked the final phase of this venture. INTRODUCTION Immigration from India to Canada exhibits a particularly distinctive geography centered on migration from Punjab into Canada's main metropolitan regions. This pattern has emerged over the last century within a context of highly racialized immigration policies. It is with this historical backdrop and through the conceptual lens of transnationalism that I examine contemporary immigrant networks between India and Canada, and the role of the state in regulating and monitoring those linkages. My findings reveal the existence of active immigrant-led political, social and economic networks between the two regions, resulting in significant transformations. Many ofthe transformations I examine are socio-economic in nature, but what emerges most strongly through my research is evidence of transformations that are highly political in formation and consequence. As a result of these findings I contend that the presence of extensive transnational networks connecting immigrants to their sites of origin and destination, rather than limit Canadian and Indian citizenship practice actually enhance it. My thesis therefore counters the traditional argument that immigrants who maintain ties with their home country are somehow only partially committed to the receiving country, and recognizes that within an increasingly globalized world, immigrant actors who have an interest in building ties across national boundaries offer the potential to enhance the state's access to more expansive social, political and economic circuits. These effective transnational processes evident both in the source and destination regions are both grounded in and enhanced by the distinct geography of the migratory circuits established between India and Canada. While this connection between Punjab and British Columbia has been 1 anecdotally obvious to Indian immigrants and immigration officials for decades, numerical evidence of the link has only been systematically collected by Citizenship and Immigration Canada since 1998.1 One indication of the maturity of this relationship between the two regions is illustrated by political events in British Columbia during 2000. On Thursday February 24th 2000, Ujjal Dosanjh, an Indian immigrant from Dosanjh Kalan village District Jalandhar Punjab, assumed the leadership of British Columbia's then ruling New Democratic Party, becoming the first minority immigrant premier of a Canadian province.2 It is entirely appropriate that British Columbia become the first Canadian province to be headed by an immigrant minority premier, and that he be a Sikh from District Jalandhar, Punjab—because the history of British Columbia is also part of the diasporic history of Sikhs from Punjab. The ongoing intensity of this bond was reflected in the treatment Dosanjh received during a visit to Punjab in December of 2000 (Mclnnes, 2000). Many opposition politicians and media outlets interpreted the exuberant celebrations, both popular and official, that accompanied his originally 'personal' visit to Punjab as inappropriate (Willcocks, 2000). The media's obsession with Dosanjh's treatment in Punjab displayedtheir lack of awareness both of the Indian cultural norm of paying deference to honourable guests, and the close nature of the linkages between the two regions. This spatial relationship between British Columbia and Punjab—more specifically Greater Vancouver and Doaba—is strikingly apparent when 1 Data indicate that currently just over 55 percent of total Indian immigration applications originate from Punjab and Haryana, but in the case of family class it increases to 80 per cent. The system to measure the origin of Indian immigrants has emerged as a result of pressure from Indo-Canadians in Canada keen to see a full-service office opened in Punjab (Personal interview, CIC Delhi December 17 t h 1999). 2 Though of minority background Joseph Atallah Ghiz, former Premier of Prince Edward Island, was born in Charlottetown, Canada, in 1945 (Prince Edward Island official Government website). 2 one travels through villages in Doaba. For example, during my fieldwork I visited a number of villages throughout Doaba, where a comment about Canada was sure to illicit responses such as, "my Cha Cha (uncle) lives 132nd and 80th Ave", revealing the specificity of knowledge about the location of Punjabi families overseas, in this case in Surrey, British Columbia. For the vast majority of people in rural Doaba, the places where Punjabis have settled abroad, especially Canada, become material and imaginary extensions of their home in Punjab. Those connections are renewed each year, most often during the winter months, as Canadian-Punjabis—their mobility far more fluid than the limited movement of most rural Punjabis—visit their hometowns and villages. My interactions with people across Doaba, whether in towns or villages, continually supported my impression that most Punjabis have a relative or friend abroad. As people gossiped about the successes and failures of their extended kin (both spatially and relationally), it became apparent that this detailed awareness of the events in many overseas Punjabi communities forms part of a wider imaginary. It is these imaginary and material intersections that I illustrate and interpret in my dissertation. In the following pages I •will-review the dissertation's contents chapter by chapter, but first I offer a general review of my theoretical framework, that of transnationalism, and offer some important reflexive comments on the terminology I employ with regard to the subject. The term transnationalism has been developed by anthropologists to capture the spatial and social transformations introduced through increased immigration and international mobility and exchange. Prominent for their systematic attempt to chart transnational movements is the work of Linda Basch, Nina Glick-Schiller and Christine Szanton Blanc (1994). They draw attention to immigrants whose everyday life involves 3 them in more than one nation-state, and consider the implications of this border straddling for group and national identities. They argue that "bounded social science concepts such as 'ethnic group', 'race' and 'nation' can limit the ability of researchers first to perceive and then to analyze the phenomenon of transnationalism" (p.30), and in the place of these bounded concepts, Basch et al encourage processual and historical approaches in order to examine how migrants re-territorialize their practices. Anthropologists such as Arjun Appadurai have also led the way in highlighting the problems associated with using constrained spatial concepts to understand global processes, arguing that while the 'area' is still an important focus of research, approaches involving bounded 'civilizations', 'cultures' and 'areas' frequently draw the wrong boundaries, ignore important interactions and are driven by obsolete assumptions about national interest, cultural coherence and global processes (The Ford Foundation, 1997 p.2).3 Overcoming the obstacles that accompany the use of contained socio-spatial categories demands integrative and flexible methodologies. To this end I have interpreted India-Canada immigrant networks through a post-positivist network methodology, which is both flexible and non-deterministic. Before outlining the dissertation's contents, however, it is necessary to review the use of language in naming the population this study is concerned with, because it is central to the implications of the research and its contribution to more general literature on Indian immigrants in Canada. Throughout the following chapters a number of different words will be used to refer to immigrants from India, but traditionally the majority have been Jat Sikhs from Doaba in Punjab, a region containing the districts of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Karpurtala (see figure 1). Where state-collected data is used, I maintain the general 3 The White Paper can be found at 4 reference to those of "South Asian origin"; in other cases the term "Indo-Canadian" is used in order to be reflective of a wider South Asian based identity, often employed by NGOs and political lobby groups. In cases where I draw upon my own research, I use regional identifiers, most often Punjabi. While Sikhism is strongly associated with Punjab, it is not the case that all Punjabis are Sikhs. To refer to a person as Punjabi does imply certain shared cultural understandings, which may or may not include religious influences emanating from Sikhism. Despite the dominant presence of Sikhs within the immigrant population from Punjab, I avoid the general term Sikh in reference to the population in question because it allows me to develop a more expansive frame of reference sensitive to issues of class, gender and age as opposed to religion alone. I also want to specify the regional focus of my work without declaring it too exclusive with reference to identity.4 My reasons for not referring exclusively to immigrants from Punjab as Sikhs, is to escape the overbearing debates of religion that tend to dominate work the region. I choose to use the term Punjabi primarily to indicate a geographical origin, but also to indicate my interest in the cultural identity of individuals whose origins lie in the region of Punjab, as opposed to locating my arguments within debates pre-framed by questions of Sikh orthodoxy, which I prefer not to extensively engage with. I recognize that Sikh identity is also a highly cultural as well as religious marker, and shaped by complex social issues of class, gender, and regional origin. However, in the context of transnational links, work on Sikhism tends to be drawn into an analysis of politico-religious networks and issues of Khalistani separatism, as Tatla (1999) has eloquently shown. I tend not to engage directly with those concerns, preferring instead to 4 For a discussion of the complexities of "Punjabi" self-identity in London, especially within the context of the partition, see Raj (1997). 5 examine more popular aspects of identity and society with regard to Punjabi immigrant networks. Having said that, I do recognize the complexity of debates on Sikh identity (see Kaur (1986) for example), and do not intend to dismiss them, but merely simplify my own use of terms. Therefore, throughout the following chapters I normally refer to Canadian Punjabis, people of South Asian origin or Indo-Canadians, rather than Sikhs per se. It is important to mention the cultural context within which my research is set, because it shapes the type of contribution my work offers. By diverting my attention away from a preoccupation with religion, this research contributes to literature on diasporic Sikhsand Punjabis through an illustration of grounded, 'popular' interactions between places and social groups. By escaping the dominant lens of religious spirituality, and considering instead the everyday issues of family, marriage, citizenship practice and migration, I illustrate some important connections previously underemphasized. The metaphor of the network provides my methodological approach to understanding these linkages, as well as my conceptual tool for illustrating them. Drawing upon a number of network conceptualizations, I develop a methodological approach based upon the notion, of transnational networks, that possess three main components: connectivity, meaning articulation and linkage; circulation, referring to repetitive and recursive movement through space and time; and transformation, implying processes of change across multiple spaces and scales. Instead of merely charting the empirical existence of such linkages, this approach allows for a synthetic interpretation of events, and registers patterns, processes and outcomes of transnational immigrant behaviour. Each of the following three sections in the 6 dissertation primarily addresses one of these three components, although each is implied throughout the whole. In the first section I consider the issue of connectivity, both spatial and social, through a review of transnational literature and a discussion of my methodology. In Chapter One I reveal how transnationalism allows for analysis grounded in immigrant actions and sensitive to issues of internal difference, but not ignorant of wider processes of global change. I review the transnationalism literature with reference to each of the three network components I have identified, and expand the.geographical range of transnational debate through consideration of Indian examples. I then consider the contribution geographers can offer to .the transnational debate, but argue that this is only possible after the subject surmounts traditional sub disciplinary separations. In place of overly abstract pontifications regarding the rise of immigrant-led transformations of place, I argue that detailed empirical research sensitive to differences of class, generation and gender (while recognizing the enduring power of state regulatory frameworks), is vital. My research therefore makes an original contribution to the field of transnational research approach offers a detailed and empirically rich account sensitive to process, difference and the state, and my geographical focus—India and Canada—is novel in a field dominated by studies on the United States of America and its southern neighbours. In Chapter Two I present my methodological approach, which is grounded in social and spatial connectivity. My research is based upon a combination of interviews, participant observation, and the use of secondary data collected across the multiple field sites that comprise the transnational field I investigate. I review the academic context 7 that has enabled the acceptance of a transnational network research approach, and detail how connectivity, built through intensive social contact with research subjects and extensive spatial connection across multi field sites, is central to the success of the project. I make the argument that both qualitative and quantitative methods are essential to building a comprehensive interpretation of transnational processes and outcomes, and reveal how the two approaches can be reconciled through a critical engagement with discourses of objectivity. My research approach is guided by the.argument that "academic writing should be seen as a process rather than a product" (Pratt, 1993, p. 51), and therefore I focus particular attention on issues of positionality and gender. This permits me to reveal the unique: challenges of a transnational approach, while problematizing assumptions of distance and power between researcher and researched. The circulatory nature of transnational networks, and the interaction between the immigrant individual and the state will be considered in Section Two. Immigrant networks play an important role in connecting places through their actions in transferring people, capital, ideas and goods between places. In Chapters Three and Four I consider the movement ofpeople, and how the state is differentially engaged with the various components of this circulatory process. In Chapter Three I interpret the magnitude of Indian migration to provide a context, and discuss the effect this has on social and political relations within India and Canada. I demonstrate how the geography of migration between India and Canada has shaped the relations between the two nations, revealing how these immigrant networks, rather than determined by the state's labour needs, are created through the social needs of immigrants themselves. The agent, therefore, can initiate and determine the nature of immigrant linkages between nations, 8 creating networks with spatially concentrated origin and destination points held together through social relations of family. Since the state is hampered in its ability to shape the geography of immigration between India and Canada, resources are directed at controlling the individual migrant. I consider this regulatory aspect in Chapter Four, where I sharpen my focus and expose some of the ways in which the Canadian state, through its officials with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), attempt to regulate the movement of people at the scale of the body. I consider how this regulation is challenged by immigrants through a number of options that utilize democratic practices of representation. I also reflect on how this intersection of immigrant practices and political representation within a transnational frame alters traditional views of the state and citizenship. I interpret the importance of citizenship as participation, and support my assertions with detailed empirical material illustrating exactly how immigrants perform citizenship through specifically state-centric political processes in order to advance forms of transnational linkage. In keeping with traditional representations of Sikhism, I stress political action, but instead of that politics being oppositional and marginalized, as with Khalistan (Tatla, 1999; Dusenbery, 1995), such behaviour is demonstrated through the interaction of politicians and constituents via democratic channels of inclusion. My focus on political interactions provides evidence of enhanced citizenship participation within Canada, where the exercise of democratic rights is seen as a responsibility as well as a privilege of citizenship (CIC, 2000a). Indo-Canadians are able to influence the political actions of their democratically elected representatives, and rather than being politically marginalized, many immigrants inhabit a position of power and influence. I illustrate this through a number of empirical 9 examples: the involvement of immigrants in challenging immigration decisions and shaping the geography and composition of migrant flows; in influencing immigration policy change; and through active involvement in trade, financial and diplomatic exchanges between India and Canada. Such interaction and involvement can enhance associations between Punjab and Canada, continuing to strengthen these communities and their transnational networks. Chapter Five continues the consideration of circulation, this time interpreting the movement of capital, not as a disembodied representation of wealth and power, but as an intensely embodied commodity, the use of which is determined not by economic rationales, but deeply cultural bonds to place. The movement of capital across translocalities such as Vancouver and Punjab is difficult if not impossible to chart accurately, and I emphasize this reality not just for capital exchange at the sub-national level, but also in order to query the accuracy of other forms of measurement, such as worker remittances. The opaqueness of capital circulation needs to be stressed in order to highlight the complexity and limited use of presenting quantitative measures of capital exchange as sole evidence of transnational outcomes. In order to estimate the significance of global capital exchange, data on capital transfers needs to be contextualized within relevant socio-cultural bases. The last circulatory process I consider in Chapter Six is trade and the movement of goods. I review the literature on trade and immigration, and present evidence to support the link through qualitative research. I argue that Canada actively seeks to benefit from the position of immigrants as possible intermediaries, and certain immigrants emerge in this process as active economic agents promoting Canadian and Indian trade and financial linkages. I maintain that the difficulty economists have in 10 envisioning the linkage between trade and immigration is a constructive one, since the opaqueness of the connection is useful in preventing immigrants from being overly represented and valued as commodified components of the global economy. Consideration of the circulatory dimensions of transnational networks illustrates how immigrants' transnational linkages can enhance forms of economic and social citizenship practices beneficial to the state, as both Canada and India strive to engage with the global economy. Immigrants are able to operate across this transnational landscape because globalization has reduced barriers, and the ability to straddle national borders has been reinterpreted from aLnegative sign of partial integration, to a positive measure of cultural and economic value. However, the circulatory magnitude of such linkages is difficult to quantify, and this obscurity is indicative of the embodied and culturally grounded nature of such transfers. Both capital and goods do not circulate independently, but in conjunction with people, and are thus influenced by socio-cultural meanings of place and positionality. Section Three considers how transnational networks cause transformations across space and through time, especially through citizenship practices such as fundraising, religious attachment and political participation in immigration issues. Chapter Seven concentrates on fundraising, and the ways in which immigrants become active agents of change by linking communities across Canada and India in order to promote development outside of state control and influence. Attachment to the land of birth—the power of place—is a central aspect of Punjabi identity, and I support this assertion through a range of empirical material in order to argue that this connectivity, and the related transformations it encourages, while rooted in associations formed in the past, will 11 continue to mature into the future. The outcome of active immigrant-led development in Punjab is fragmented and partial, and the contribution to development, though in many cases positive, needs to be understood as grounded in cultural attachments to place and the imperative of status building as opposed to altruistic donation. In Chapter Eight I continue my consideration of transnational transformations, but this time I consider Vancouver. I present a number of quantitative measures to reveal how Vancouver's population has changed and diversified as a resultof immigrant networks centered on Punjab, and indicate the specific geographical outcomes of these linkages. I also consider how Canadian Punjabi/Sikh identity is influenced by changing linguistic and religious practices, and how second generation Sikhs, as well as the wider Vancouver community, are affected by such transformations. In particular I argue that a process of linguistic and religious deterritorialization is occurring, and is defined by tension and conflict as globally dispersed communities attempt to redefine their identities and attachment to place. This is indicative of a process of transnationalization, where the meaning of Punjab is in constant flux and transition through time and across space. In Chapter Nine I demonstrate the centrality of gender, by documenting how active transnational marriage networks between India and Canada are shaped by overwhelming male preference, and how men and women differentially benefit from these arrangements. I argue that marriage practices between Canada and India are evidence of socially intensive but spatially extensive networks, where norms of tradition and transnationality merge. Across this transnational field, processes of inequity are challenged by Indo-Canadian women, who turn to the Canadian state to extend and promote Canadian norms of citizenship rights and protections throughout transnational migratory circuits. This can be seen as a 12 form of transnationalizing Canadian norms of greater gender equality. Citizenship practice is therefore enhanced through transnational behaviours, which are no longer necessarily in opposition to the interests of the state. Unlike many homogenous interpretations of 'immigrant communities', the chapters in section three illustrate the heterogeneity of Indo-Canadian immigrant networks, highlighting issues of class, generation and gender. This dissertation assists in understanding more fully the cultural transformations occurring in Canadian cities with high immigration,, and in thesource regions in the developing economy of India. My. research is the first to explicitly consider Indian immigration to Canada within a transnational frame, which emphasizes both the role of structure, and the role immigrant actors play in creating and maintaining certain interactions between the two countries. It will further contribute to the debate on immigration and transnationalism through a more detailed consideration of transnational networks, and the relationship of the state to them. My movement through this transnational space, using methodologies that are flexible and encourage interaction with diverse sources ofmaterial, has resulted in some important claims regarding immigrant networks between India and Canada. Ihave provided an empirically rich interpretation of transnational linkages between Canada and India, arguing that citizenship practice and participation can be enhanced through such intersections. Citizenship practice across transnational fields is therefore not a zero sum equation, and immigrants can be an effective force in both source and destination contexts. 13 C H A P T E R O N E TRANSNATIONALISM: C O N N E C T I V I T Y ACROSS S P A C E AND S C A L E In this chapter I selectively review the literature on transnationalism to highlight two contributions my research will make. The first is to develop the geographical range of the literature by departing from the dominance of USA and Central / South American based studies to a case study based on Canada-India links. The second contribution emerges from an explicit and critical understanding of the role of the state in regulating, monitoring and managing flows of people and associated capital and goods. This compensates for the dominance of overly celebratory readings of the retreat of the state in the face of increased processes of globalization (Ohmae, 1995). My rationale for selectively reviewing this literature is to illustrate how transnational networks facilitate connectivity, circulation and transformation, three themes I will continue to employ throughout the dissertation. In this chapter and the next, I focus on the need for conceptual and empirically connectivity. Transnationalism has attracted the attention of scholars who seek to understand how global migration and globalizing processes have altered the role of the nation-state in shaping economy, polity and society. In its place, researchers have attempted to understand how new articulations formed by non-state actors span national boundaries, and enable greater socio-spatial connectivity and transformation. The word transnationalism is not itself a new creation. In a prescient article published in 1916, the 15 word 'trans-national' was used in a discussion regarding immigration and related societal transformations: America is coming to be, not a nationality but a trans-nationality, a weaving back and forth, with the other lands, of many threads of all sizes and colors. Any movement which attempts to thwart this weaving, or to dye the fabric any one color, or disentangle the threads of the strands, is false to this cosmopolitan vision. (Bourne, 1916, p. 96). Despite this early usage, the term does not come into wider circulation until the 1970s, when used to refer to changes in the economic sphere with the rise of integrated multinational or transnational corporations. Seen as the engines of growth and shapers of an increasing global economy, scholars turned to understanding how corporations were expanding investments overseas in a search for cheaper sites of production and potential markets. Geographers have been central in examining how these changes manifest themselves through economic space, by considering such things as the growth and spread of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as capital sought out new production sites and markets, the rise of the service sector and global cities which facilitated these international transactions, and the rise of a New International Division of Labour (NIDL), where communities in developing economies become incorporated into the expansive global capitalist economy through processes of production and consumption (Dicken, 1998). These aspects of trans or multinational corporate practice have been an important focus for geographers for at least the last three decades, and continue to be a dominant academic interest.1 As globalization processes have accelerated, and the technologies of time -space compression have made interactions across vast distances easier, faster and more ' This interest is understandable since these corporate networks are responsible for two-thirds of international trade (Douglass, 2000), and increasingly focus their decision making centres in world cities, making transnational networks of exchange ever more dense, concentrated and significant (Taylor, 2000). 16 frequent, the dominance of corporate and state actors in conceptualizations of global change has been countered by an awareness of transnational networks shaped by individuals, especially immigrants. The same technologies that enable global corporations to conquer distance—email, fax, telephone, video, international flights—are now familiar to the vast majority of the urban world, permitting non-state actors to develop dense, social networks between physically distant locales. These conditions have set in motion a process of transnationalism that is more grounded and'individualized, networking people, communities and places rather than solely corporations and capital. Nina Glick Schiller, Linda Basch, and Christina Szanton Blanc (1992) are responsible for one of the first systematic and comprehensive studies on transnationalism. Using examples drawn from the Eastern Caribbean, Haiti and the Philippines, the authors argue that social science interpretations of migration that focus solely on incorporation into the host nation are inadequate for capturing the reality of migrants "who live their lives across borders" (1992, p.ix). In a later study they define transnationalism as, the process by which immigrants forge and sustain multistranded social relations that link together their societies of origin and settlement. We call these processes transnationalism to emphasize that many immigrants today build social fields that cross geographic, cultural and political borders. (Basch et al, 1994 p.7) While acknowledging the contribution of earlier scholars in identifying this new phenomenon, Glick Schiller et al develop a more global and systematic approach to understanding immigrant transnational processes, in place of the individual descriptive studies offered earlier. 2 Glick Schiller, et al note that in 1986 the American Academy of Political and Social Science held a conference entitled: From foreign workers to settlers? - Transnational migration and the emergence of a new minority. However the authors suggest that the conference was public policy orientated and did not develop the concept of transnational migration (Glick-Schiller, 1992). 17 Since the early 1990s the literature on transnationalism and immigrant networks has burgeoned. Although differing contexts shape various presentations of the social-spatial networks and outcomes, common themes trace immigrant-led transnational articulations and practices that reorder the meanings of space, citizenship, community and identity. These numerous practices include political networking and mobilization, economic transfers, social networks and cultural production. Defining Transnationalism Transnationalism, broadly defined, encompasses a wide range of interests. Dealing with the increasingly large literature drawn from anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, and others has become a daunting task.3 It is difficult to generalize about this literature because authors have made different decisions about which behaviours we should focus on, and therefore which outcomes we should register as trasnational. I will consider this by reviewing some of the literature that attempts to. define transnationalism, as well as discussions regarding methodology. Basch, Glick Schiller and Blanc-Szanton's relatively early work on transnationalism sought to posit transnational movements and outcomes within a strong political economy tradition. The authors contend that the major analytical frame dominating perspectives of immigration envisioned individuals only as labour power and not as social and political actors. Basch et al develop a framework for their transnational migration theory based on four premises. Firstly they argue; "Transnational migration is inextricably linked to the changing conditions of global capitalism and must be analyzed J The range of journals that have emerged in the last decade with an interest in transnationalism is indicative ofthe growing literature: Disapora, Public Culture, Global Networks. 18 within the context of global relations between capital and labour" (Basch et al, 1994,p.23). The authors acknowledge that transnational connections are not new, but they have intensified under processes of globalization. They argue that the interpenetration of capitalism into more and more regions of the world marks new migrant experiences, and that global restructuring has damaged economies of the developing world, further intensifying the need and desire for migration. Secondly the authors contend, "Transnationalism is a process by which migrants, throughtheir daily life activities and social, economic, and political relations, create social fields that cross national boundaries" (p.27) The authors feel, however, that much of the literature in relation to this remains "evocative rather then analytical" (Basch et al, 1994, p.28). The authors acknowledge that network analysis has been employed to consider immigrant social relations, prioritizing their role as social agents. However Basch et al want to move beyond network analysis and consider the outcomes of such transnational networks by viewing "migrants as active agents in a process of hegemonic construction" (p. 29). Thirdly, the authors argue, "bounded social science concepts such as 'ethnic group', 'race' and 'nation' can limit the ability of researchers first to perceive and then to analyze the phenomenon of transnationalism." (p.30). These bounded concepts have been taken for granted, and in their place the authors encourage an awareness based on a sense of the processual and historical in order to examine how migrants re-territorialize their practices between and across places. Fourthly Basch et al argue, by living their lives across borders, transmigrants find themselves confronted with and engaged in the nation building processes of two or more nation-states. Their identities and practices are configured by hegemonic categories, such as race and ethnicity, that are deeply embedded in the nation building processes of these nation-states (p.34). 4 4 Portes et al, (1999) have critiqued Basch et a/'s use of the word transmigrant, Portes et al maintain that the term immigrant is still an adequate one for discussing transnational practices. 19 Here the authors argue they are interested in the paradoxical increase in cultural and political differentiation in an age of increasing homogeneity of global capitalism. One central route to an analysis of this differentiation is through a focus on the nation, which Basch et al argue, "is to talk about race" (p.37). In striving to move beyond this, they point to gender as a new location "from which to construct identities that allow us to think beyond the nation building processes of particular nation-states" (p.40). In thinking beyond the nation, transnational approaches have risked occluding the continued importance of national mechanisms of control and regulation. Glick Schiller (1999) has acknowledged that claims about the emergence of the "deterritorialized" state are misplaced, and that even though processes of transnationalism have altered some aspects of the state, the boundedness and national vision ofthe state is still deeply entrenched. This is an important admission, since much writing on transnationalism tends to glorify the freedom of movement, without being attuned to the continued presence of the state in regulating and controlling the movement of bodies through immigration regimes (Sassen, 1996).5 Despite these shortcomings, Basch et al's four premises are highly relevant to any work that engages in transnational social processes. Their approach, grounded in an investigation of issues of power, class, gender, the state and political economy, reverberate with what Mitchell appeals for in geography's approach to transnationalism, where she argues that it is, imperative to maintain a knowledge of the structural principles undergirding a system that infects and is infected by every other system in an unequal exchange. Without 5 Consider the different representations of travel and movement elucidated by James Clifford and bell hooks, which blatantly reveal the importance of embodiment: how the individual's identity is read off the body to create different experiences of movement and control (hooks, 1992; Clifford, 1992). The state plays a central role in deploying these regulatory mechanisms. 20 this, the power relations evident in every facet of transnational contact—between states, institutions and people—become lost (Mitchell, 1997 p. 109). Certainly much ofthe work that has emerged since the early 1990s has argued that more emphasis needs to be directed to the ways that processes of transnationalism are connected to processes of global capitalism (Ong, 1999). In order to make explicit the connections between processes of immigration and global capitalism, throughout this dissertation I attempt to employ a network approach :based on circulation, connectivity and transformation, thereby incorporating^processes.and outcomes.into my analysis. On balance however, whilst global capital is significant to global migration, I maintain that we should not allow it to blind us to behaviours that are deeply marked by particular cultural and social contexts and expectations, therefore my departure point is always the immigrant individual or family. What also seems to be less developed in transnational literature is a rigorous, explicit focus highlighting the differences in transnational behaviour and state processes of regulation as inflected through race, class and gender.6 Despite the comprehensive work of Basch et al, there have been many more recent attempts to unravel and define what we should consider as important transnational actions. In particular, European interest in transnationahimmigrant.processes—emerging somewhat later than in the USA—has produced some literature. Heavily influenced by Britain's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) sponsored Transnational Communities Project (Transcomm),-attempts have been made to formulate the study of transnational processes, but how far they replace earlier attempts to theorize ideas of transnationalism is questionable. A series of working papers on the Transcomm web site 6 Whilst Ong's (1999) work is directed at a particular class location, she does not adequately differentiate the elite migrant from the general labouring migrant. In addition, her examination of gender seems underdeveloped. 21 reveals an interest in the work of sociologists and anthropologists such as Alejandro Portes, and Ulf Hannerz. Portes' extensive work in migrant communities in the USA identifies him as an important and useful contributor to a European discussion of transnational communities. Portes' early work on transnationalism identifies the strong connections he makes between processes of global capital and global labour migration, emphasizing the importance of political economy that Basch et al promote (Portes, 1997). In a later paper—published as part of a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies, edited by the director of the Transcomm Project, Steve Vertovec—Portes,,Guarnizo and Landolt (1999), provide a review of the "emergent field" of transnationalism and identify some pitfalls. They argue: "Transnational migration studies form a highly fragmented, emergent field which lacks both a well-defined theoretical framework and analytical rigour." (p.218). To remedy this their first suggestion is to delimit the phenomenon by focusing only on novel and distinct behaviours in order "to justify a new area of investigation" (p.219). The article goes on to define what the authors see as transnational behaviour, including the nature of the community and the unit of analysis, arguing that the individual should be the starting point since transnationalism is based in the grass roots (this issue will be taken up in Chapter Four). Whilst Portes et al's arguments are well intentioned and indeed important in delimiting an increasingly wide ranging and all-encompassing domain—as this chapter is no doubt revealing—there are problems with their argument. In attempting to define the area of transnationalism we run the risk of losing the interesting and creative dimensions that this relatively new research approach has delivered. We also have to be conscious that research sites are hosts to numerous contextual differences where wide-raging global processes occur with multiple possible 22 outcomes. We also need to be sensitive to attempts to close off this field of enquiry by limiting what we consider to be transnational practice. This can be seen for example in the authors' attempts to delimit who can be considered a transnational actor. For purposes of establishing a novel area of investigation, it is preferable to delimit the concept of transnationalism to occupations and activities that require regular and sustained social contacts over time across national borders for their implementation .. ..By the same token, it excludes the occasional gifts of money and kind sent by immigrants to their kin and friends (not an occupation) or the one-time purchase of a house or lot by an immigrant in his home country (not a regular activity) (p.219). Portes et al (1999), partly due to their own research interests, tend to prioritize entrepreneurial activity. In particular their consideration of such actions tends to project an image of the entrepreneur as an agent resistant to the global capitalist labour system. Such claims need to be subjected to rigorous empirical research, since in certain contexts those same transnational entrepreneurs are themselves responsible for furthering the global capitalist labour process, including "old" immigration classes such as farm labour (Singh, 1987), and the new immigrant class of hi-tech software programmers (Lowell, 2000). Beside this, by defining as transnational only those who sustain links through regular mobility, we erase sensitivity to the way class and gender, for example, might alter behaviours with transnational meaningsand significance. Take for example an elderly Sikh immigrant woman, who may move only infrequently between source and destination location, but her unpaid labour in the form of childcare is vital to the ability of her husband,<son or daughter to move frequently between places of transnational business; or the family whose daughter or son have emigrated overseas, but social contact is maintained through other forms of emotional exchange, such as the telephone. Or consider the local village official who plays a central role in coordinating immigrant 23 financial contributions to transnational fundraising schemes, but who rarely transcends borders due to restrictive state immigration regulations that, despite the popular notions of a borderless world, are still highly impervious for certain people. While some are excluded from the regular and sustained practice of actual border crossings due to class, gender, age differences, they may well engage in other behaviours that bring them into transnational networks of exchange (for example religious meetings, tours, news distribution, fundraising etc). To delimit who we recognize as a transnational actor desensitizes us to the meanings of such transactions, which cannot :be read merely through frequency of movement. A gift or letter sent occasionally, a decision to buy land, a psychological and emotional connection to a distant land, all these linkages, and the networks they are deployed through, may have different meanings and consequences not easily equated with the frequency with which they occur. Expanding the Geographical Focus of Transnationalism In addition to recognizing the need for a broad interpretation of transnational activity, there is also a need to recognize and illustrate wider geographies of transnationalism. The context of much transnational research has been focused on the United States and Central and South American movements (Goldring, 1998; Mountz and Wright, 1996; Rouse, 1991; Kearney, 1995). This fascinating land border has become a site replete with meaning for those whose lives are ruled by it, who desire to cross it, live close to it and for those who seek to 'defend' it. Though Chinese transnationalism has been considered, (Ong and Nonini, 1997; Ong, 1999) this is still highly focused on the United States. 24 Karen Leonard (1992), has focused on the Punjabi community in California, and provides an insightful consideration of the historical transformations that occurred with regard to identity and community formation. Early Sikh immigrants socially contained by racist immigration policies turned to local Hispanic women as wives, and formed a complex and fluid form of identity for their children. This process was reversed however when immigration policy was relaxed in the 1960s, and a new influx of immigrants from India arrived, who shunned the earlier Punjabi-Hispanic communities and encouraged older immigrants to return to traditional Sikh social customs. Though an important consideration of the linkages maintained through time as well as space with the Sikh community in California, Leonard's study is still focused on the USA. Transnational literature not focused on the United States is limited, and there is a need to build a comparative framework for the interpretation of transnational communities outside of the USA's direct influence. The development of transnational communities between Canada and India presents a study that does not focus solely on the land border of the USA, but reveals how a series of networks and intersections of place have historically developed as an outcome of a complex set of colonial relations. The construction of immigrant networks between India and Canada has developed over a longer time frame than many US-Central American connections, creating exchanges that have a longer duration and more mature consistency. In addition the contemporary Canadian case is less influenced by undocumented migration, countering the dominance of discourses.of migrant marginalization evident in the USA. A focus on India-Canada links offers an useful alternative to transnational studies centered on the USA. 25 There are over 14 million people of Indian origin resident overseas, whose movements are the result of complex histories and migratory processes, and work tracing these migrations has been available for some time. Arthur Helweg has researched Indians overseas across a number ofsites, and although not employing the terminology of transnationalism, reflects sensitivity to social networks that straddle multiple places. For example, his work on Sikhs in England (Helweg, 1979; 1983) reveals the significance of migrant and village links in ways that preempt.later work on Mexican migrant remittances (Kearney, 1995). His later work focuses on "new" professional Indian Immigrants and their decisions about home, identity, and children in the USA (Helweg, 1987; 1990) as well as in Australia (Helweg, 1991). In addition to these studies across numerous settlement sites, Helweg has retained an important interest in the impacts of migration on the sending nation (Helweg, 1984; 1989). In Canada Tara Singh Bains and Hugh Johnston (1995) have presented a very personal recollection of one individual's immigration experiences, highlighting the nature and extent of connection between Punjab and Vancouver. Also Buchignani (1987; 1989), in his reviews of work on South Asians in Canada, has suggested that more research is needed to consider the linkages immigrants maintain between Canada and India, suggesting :that scholars of Indian migration—whilst not employing the terminology—have long been attuned to the potentially rich field of enquiry such a transnational lens might provide. More general work, while descriptive, considers the potential, impacts of large Indian populations overseas not only on the settlement location, but upon the development of India (Jain, 1993; Madhavan, 1985; Weiner, 1982 and Barrier, 1989). 26 While much of the work on Indian immigration might be considered overly descriptive, the recent flurry of interest on transnationalism has produced surprisingly few South Asian focused articles (for an exception see Lessinger, 1992). More inspiring work has emerged from ethnic Indian women more attuned to issues of gender and transnational networks. Monisha Das Gupta (1997) complicates issues of transnational identity construction by looking at four second-generation women in the USA whose parents struggle to reconstruct their daughters' identities in opposition to both American, and modernizing middle-class Indian values. Parminder Bhachu's (1986) work on diasporic Indian communities, especially from East Africa, has considered fashion and the development of transnational entrepreneurship by second-generation ethnic Indian women. Her most recent work argues that these women have been active in recoding Indian fashion away from the racialized interpretations prevalent in settlement societies such as the UK, into a globally desired commodity circulating between diasporic communities (Bhachu, 2000). Bhachu's focus on second-generation women signals the importance of context, since South Asian immigrants in the UK now exhibit a demographic profile that includes a dynamic British-born generation, and the sophistication of this cohort is displayed throughxulturahproductions ranging from film, (East is East, My Beautiful Launderette) to music (Apache Indian), to writing, and fashion. Whilst ethnic Indian migrant groups have not been heavily profiled in recent transnational literature, there is ample evidence that such a focus could produce examples that bring together issues of gender, generation and identity, as well as address some of the more structural concerns, such as development, citizenship and nationalism. 27 Transnationalism and Multiple Outcomes The potential a transnational approach can offer to understanding immigrant linkages across space is apparent when we realize how extensive the concept has become. Many authors have outlined the wide range of meanings associated with transnationalism (Mahler, 1998; Vertovec, 1999), and while I do not intend to repeat them here, I offer Figure 1.1 as a schematic representation of relevant conditions andoutcomes pertinent to this discussion. Conditions are represented as operating on two fronts, the migrant and the nation-state. The first, the migrant, is seen as de-territorialized body-in-motion, and the other, the nation-state, is traditionally seen as territorially rooted and bounded. However, this characterization is subject to critical examination, since in many ways the state, through surveillance mechanisms, can be a fluid, mobile entity moving beyond the space of the border, for example in Chapter Nine I consider how Canadian officials exploit the absence of certain legal confidentiality rights in India in order to investigate and dismiss immigration applications; something they would be precluded from doing in Canada. The migrant is constructed as individual mobile labour power, but his or her social context— spouses, children and domesticity—often result in greater fixity and containment than governments and researchers assume. However, both the nation and the migrant have been affected by the processes of "time-space compression", where the history of capitalism has produced "processes that so revolutionize the objective qualities of space and time that we are forced to alter, sometimes in quite radical ways, how we represent the world to ourselves" (Harvey, 1989, p.240). These new processes, especially transport 28 and communications, facilitate more frequent and comprehensive forms of connectivity across space. In addition to these technological developments, human rights legislation put into place after WWII has enforced the rights of individuals to seek asylum in other states when they find their status and security in jeopardy inside their own nation.7 Add to this the complexities of uneven development across a global landscape no longer bluntly divided by the major political and economic axis of east/west and north/south but increasingly landscapes where extreme wealth and poverty jostle at the meso and micro scale, and we can see how access to channels of information about opportunities in richer industrial states has a strong influence at a multitude of scales. I review each ofthe outcomes identified through a selective literature review, but I especially focus on literature illustrating South Asian transnational outcomes in order to counter the dominant geographical focus on the Americas in much transnational research. The outcomes I identify contribute to an understanding of the network approach and how it entails connectivity, circulation and transformation. 7 Human rights legislation in practice is increasingly an area of concern, as major refugee receiving nations ofthe past alter their commitment to accepting asylum seekers of the present. In its place these wealthy hegemonic nations seek ways to contain displaced people "over there", close to the regions of conflict within refugee camps which, " remove evidence of human displacement from view and contain 'the problem' without resolution, as noncommunities of the excluded" (Hyndman, 2000 p. 190). 2 9 CONDITIONS Time-space compression Migrant social networks Uneven development International Human Rights OUTCOMES Connectivity: Intensification and deepening of transnational social and spatial articulations ( Goldring 1998; Mountz and Wright 1996; Appadurai 1996; Kearney 1995; Rouse 1991) Circulation: Increased material flows (Jackson 2000; Portes 1997; Portes 1991) Transformations I: Transnational political networks (Basch 1994; Rajagopal 1997;Tatla 1999) Transformations II: New citizenship practice (Baubock 2000; Faist 1999; Ong 1999; Soysal 1994; Spiro 2000) Figure 1.1: Transnationalism: Conditions and Outcomes 30 Connectivity: Intensification and deepening of transnational social and spatial articulations Social and spatial articulations formed by immigrants across multiple nation-states are not new. There is a long history of political, social and economic networks shaped by emigrants, which have been sustained and enlarged through the transmission of ideas, information, capital and people. Despite the long history of what we can, in retrospect, call transnational networks, these networkshaveibeemsubjected to intensification and deepening due to the rapidity with which people can move themselves, their money, their news, and their ideas across space, producing increasingly efficient systems of connectivity.. Generally most scholars addressing issues of transnationalism highlight the importance of socio-spatial connectivity and articulation, and it has been through such discussions that some of the richest and most inspirational work has emerged in relation to ideas of transnationalism, migration and nation. In his work on Mexican migrants from the rural municipio of Aguililla, Roger Rouse (1991) reflects on what he terms the "Social Spaces of Postmodernity", using the everyday examples of interactions across a transnational canvas. Rouse ponders on the complexities.such networks introduce for our ideas of space: Migration has always had the potential to challenge established spatial images. It highlights the socialnature of space as something created and reproduced through collective human agency and, in so doing, reminds us that, within the limits imposed by power, existing spatial arrangements are always susceptible to change (p.l 1). Rouse portrays the social and economic dislocations associated with the new spatialities of migrant circuits as an emerging border zone, where the border represents not the actual 31 line of political demarcation, but a zone where opposing systems - in this case white America and Latino migrant labour—come face to face: Throughout this fractured territory, transnationalism, contradictions in development, and increasingly polarized economies are stretching images of community beyond their limits, bringing different ways of life into vivid, often violent juxtaposition, and encouraging the chronic reproduction of their incongruities (p.18). Rouse's sensitivity to social and spatial complexities revealed by Mexican migration to the USA presents new complexities about the nature of the world we live in, and about the increasing interpenetration and connectivity of spaces.previously:seen as separate; developed/underdeveloped, rural/urban, south/north. Michael Kearney's (1995) work, again focusing on Mexico and the USA, draws similar conclusions. Working in the transnational space he refers to as Oaxacalifomia, Kearney attempts to find "ways of conceiving migration that are not predicated on modernist assumptions about time, space, and social identity" (p.228). The heart of this complexity is found in the lives migrants lead, which takes them through multiple social fields and identities as they move between different national, occupational and social locations. Rather than undermining de-development in the periphery however, Kearney argues that these processes are reproducing what Sassen-Koob has termed "peripheralization at.the core" (Sassen-Koob,1982). This process, Kearney goes on to argue, is in large measure a dissolving of the structural and spatial distinctions that defined core and periphery, developed and de-developed, sending and receiving, and other such, dualist oppositions so. central to the identity and functioning of modem nation-states (p.240). Both Rouse and Kearney reveal how increasing migration has complicated and rearranged the nature of space and spatial representations through magnifying incidents 32 of everyday life. Their influence can be seen in the growth of research directed at understanding these spatial transformations, such as Mountz and Wright (1996), who introducethe concept of a social field they call OP, a space stretching between Oaxaca and Poughkeepsie, within which the intricacies of daily life such as gossip, gendered expectations, and familial and social relations play an important controlling role. Goldring's (1998) work on returning migrants and their contributions to home associations in Mexico reveals how transnational migrants seek to enhance their social status in the home locale. This is an important argument, since status is built across transnational space and becomes a central component of identity, even for migrants who have settled.permanently in the USA. Such connectedness across space escapes the opposition of the local against the global (Hall, 1991), by complicating the nature of localities as well as concepts of spatial scales. Examples of such studies focused on India are rare, but in a reflective essay on the Sikh panth or community Axel, (1996) reveals the complexity of connections between immigrant communities and nation-states: The frontier ofthe Sikh diasporic social formation is indeed a transitional area, but one which inverts the purpose of the nation-state's frontier: rather than producing separations between various states, it produces connections which not only ignore the valorized centers of these nation-states (i.e. capitals) but also: orient its localities to a 'nation' (i.e. the panth) which is other (p.78). Such discourses of space and the forms of connectivity immigrants build between different spaces; ushers in completely different understandings of what immigration means for the individual and the host and home states. 33 Circulation: Increased material flows As people's circulation has been increasing, so too has the flow of commodities, information and money. Material flows have always been an important associated component of the immigration experience, and remittances can be seen as one ofthe first indicators researchers considered as a measure ofthe effects of international migration on "traditional" source regions, particularly in India (Kessinger, 1974). Other scholars interested in the role of small-scale entrepreneurs in importing/exporting goods between home/host localities have revealed the deeply cultural meanings of operating such ventures. Portes and Guarnizo (1991) focusing on Dominican Republic immigrants in New York, have shown how such transfers are embedded within the social structure of the family, where profit maximization and rational choice are secondary to issues of social capital and trust. Not only does the social framework structure the means of transfer, but the processes of distribution and expenditure depend upon the priorities of the family and kinship groups. One cannot speak of commodity flows without making reference to the arguments raised about commodification and the threat of global homogenization bred through the increasing extension of western consumer goods such as Coca-cola and McDonalds around the globe. This homogenization argument has recently been challenged through work that argues that the experiences of consumption are mediated and transformed by local processes of reception (Jackson, 1999). Jackson, "seeks to trace the particular benefits and disbenefits associated with specific kinds of commodification, rather than 34 assuming that they can be mapped in some abstract and a priori fashion" (p.97). Material flows through the spatially extensive South Asian diaspora offer important examples of this cultural diversity of goods and the meanings and benefits associated with them. Commodity flows include cultural products such as films and music (Joseph, 1999), as well as fashion, which play crucial roles within South Asian communities by helping to shape immigrant identity and build social cohesion across the spatially extensive sites of the diaspora. As Jackson argues, rather than make blanket statements about the effects of such flows, each needs to be mapped in ways to reveal their particular effects. I will highlight the gendered meanings of consumption for three common commodities that circulate transnationally: food, music, and fashion. Narayan (1995a), offers a complex reading of the meaning of Indian food, colonialism, identity and immigration. Contributing to the discussion about food and the ethnic Other, Narayan considers the meanings of Indian food as it was transported and transmuted through colonial and postcolonial landscapes of the Raj and the South Asian diaspora. While she highlights the complexities that may be read into the act of consuming regionally distinct foods, she particularly highlights issues of race, gender and class. With regard to gender she draws out thelimitations to incorporation established by immigrant communities, referring to the absence of women working in the Indian restaurant industry, as opposed to their presence in family-operated grocery stores. To interpret this she draws parallels to Indian nationalism and the symbolic distinction between home and the outside world. Perhaps the proximity of these grocery stores to the space of the home permits women's work in these stores to be seen as more akin to their domestic tasks, while waiting tables involves work in a more 'public' space. Perhaps too, women serving 35 Indian food is too redolent of the intimacies of Indian family life to be comfortably commodified as impersonal service in a restaurant (p.75). Food is of course one ofthe key aspects of community, and the meanings and details involved in the preparation, sharing and ritual consumption of food are fundamental aspects of identity. Narayan's argument encourages us to reflect upon the gendered meanings of this commodity as it circulates through the time and space of the colonial and postcolonial. Another key commodity flow that moves through the diasporic spaces of South Asian communities is music. Gopinath (1995) reflects upon the popularity of Bhangra music, a variant of traditional Punjabi folk songs that in Britain have become increasingly popular, especially when-mixed with Afro-Caribbean influenced reggae music. Gopinath suggests that Bhangra music reveals how the Asian diaspora incorporates conventional gendered nationalist discourses into its realm through the lyrics and images accompanying the songs and music, which often reflect traditional patriarchal images of women as reproducers of cultures and guardians of home. It also considers how the nation is drawn into diaspora through the statement that Bhangra is about 'Britishness'. Gopinath is suggesting of course that the diaspora is a^ site of contradiction, both outside and inside the nation, but it also reveals the limits of the nation, by transmitting Tndianess' outside of the nation and into a transnational diasporic circuit encompassing Delhi, Mumbai, London, Yuba City, Vancouver etc., Gopinath's work examines how circulations, in this case music, both question and support the national project through their reinterpretations and representations of new and old identities and relations. Bhangra is a highly masculinist project of diasporic identity maintenance, and despite the 36 increasing involvement of women in the practice and performance of bhangra, Gopinath's argument is that the music perpetuates a highly gendered discourse which visualizes women as passive, often immobile subjects. This draws our attention to the ways in which transnational circulations are imbued with gendered meanings and can often advance traditional norms of Indian patriarchy through neo-traditional transnational circuits (Iconsider these issues further in Chapter Nine with a discussion of marriage networks). Contrasting this image of the South Asian diaspora as site of patriarchal norms, Bhachu (1996) argues that women perform roles within the transnational diaspora which offer both a transformation and reinforcement of traditional cultural behaviours. Bhachu maintains that local specificities influence the transmission of cultural practices, in particular the marriage economy and dowry decisions. Bhachu examines middle class South Asian origin women as active agents, with economic roles and decision-making capacities that have been improved through multiple migrations. Bhachu's arguments reveal how class position and locality influence the ways dowry decisions are made and the type and nature of dowry gifts purchased. Bhachu's reading of the transformative potential South Asian women develop through the commodity circulation of marriage gifts - especially fashion and textiles - differs from both Narayan's and Gopinath's reading of the patriarchal gendered messages relayed through food practices and Bhangra. While all these examples reveal the complexities of meaning embedded in the circulation of commodities, Bhachu's careful reading of the actions of South Asian transnational women replaces the "woman as passive subject" with an image of "women 37 as active agent" whose practices have the potential to transform relations across multiple localities through their use and deployment of class position and commodity flows. Transformations I: Transnational political networks To move the network approach beyond mere description, we need to embrace an awareness of process, and I have included this by focusing on the transformative effects of transnational networks and immigrant behaviour. Basch et al (1992) consider transnational behaviours to be a creative migrant response to forces of global capitalism. In particular they draw attention to migrant practices of nation building within their home state through processes such as remittance sending, goods exchange and political support. The authors argue that as the home state attempts to incorporate migrants more effectively into their realm, a process of partial deterritorialization takes place, as the bonds between national space and national identity are disrupted, and migrants begin to perform political roles across multiple national spaces. This "post-colonial nationalism" (p.269) allows a person to physically live outside the borders of their state, but to continue to play a role within its development. Basch et al argue that the extent of migrant incorporation into their home state is highly/dependent upon issues of class. While migrants may be represented only asxconomic 'cash cows' for the state, creatively contributing to the defence of their home from the uneven forces of global capitalism, they may also become agents of global capital, effectively transmitting forces of neo-liberalismback into their home regions. In India, the rising presence oflndians overseas has been linked to their increased activity within the nation, from projects of educational investment to active promotion of Sikh separatism (Tatla, 1999), or Hindu nationalism (Rajagopal, 1997). The current ruling party in India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has 38 been careful to respond to the demands of some Indians overseas, especially professional Indian software workers and entrepreneurs in the USA (Chakravartty, 2000). But not all Indians overseas have such cordial relations with the State; Tatla (1999) highlights the Sikh diaspora's search for statehood in opposition to the Indian government. Using transnational political networks Tatla describes how Sikhs work at applying pressure to the Indian State through the governments of their new homes—mainly Britain, the USA and Canada—-through extensive fundraising networks. In-cases such as these, it is difficult for the receiving state to control the transnational political actions of immigrant and first generation individuals and the transformations they attempt to advance. This appears to be the case in Britain, as UK Muslim youth are reportedly choosing to leave the country to fight for the Islamic cause overseas and British security forces respond by admitting that they are powerless to stop British citizens over 18 from leaving the country.9 Such international political linkages are not new—consider the long history of Irish-American fundraising for the Irish Republican Army—but the reach of organizations that have access to communications technology and mobility across multiple nation states creates a.situation where connections and actions have an immediacy and range that was impossibles century ago. In addition to technological changes, the changing political climate since the end ofthe cold war has witnessed a rapid reordering of national boundaries and internal unrest. The quite unexpected developments witnessed at the start ofthe 1990s with the break-up of the Soviet Union, 8 Currently similar issues are emerging in Canada in relation to fund raising for Sri Lankan Tamil separatists—during 1999 Canadian Tamils raised as much as $22 million for relatives, some of which is suspected to have reached Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka (Economist, 2000). Reports suggest that over 200 young men have flown to Pakistan with the last 3 years to receive training to fight in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Chechnya. Men are reportedly recruited through local mosques and on the Internet by Islamic groups such as Al-Muhajiroun (The voice, the eyes and the ears ofthe Muslims). One mosque in Crawley was reported to have seen four boys leave in the space of a few weeks (Punjab Tribune, 2000). 39 have set in motion a series of destabilizing forces. These radical reformulations across the global political landscape have demanded a new approach from political geographers: "Geopolitical theorization and conceptualization is now actively grappling with the problematics of globalization, informationalization, and proliferating borderless risk" (6 Tuathail, 2000 p. 176). The upheaval and dislocation associated with the reordering of global hierarchies and nation-states has contributed to massive population displacement and increased the potential for socio-political formations to enact transformations across a transnational field. While transnational networks and: the resources they can channel are often exploited by the receiving state, there is also the potential for the state to be undermined and challenged by these very same processes of circulation and related transformation. Moments of contradiction as well as connectivity are therefore deeply embedded within these transnational political networks. Transformations II: New forms of citizenship practice Transnational movements are also having an increasingly profound effect on issues of citizenship, and it is in this realm that we can identify some of the most important transformations associated with transnational networks. As the traditional theories of immigrant assimilation are dismantled, the reality of transnational immigrant practices, be they economic, political or social, are recognized as having a profound effect on the meanings on citizenship.10 Faist (1999) considers the implications of citizenship change in an era of rapid mobility by considering the issue of dual citizenship. Faist argues that the presence of dual national membership for citizens rarely poses a challenge for the 1 0 In some circumstances this reorientation has led to radical institutional changes; take for example Germany's recent legislation to alter citizenship regulations in order to accommodate the thousands of Turkish origin families and their German born children originally employed as guest workers. 40 immigrant receiving country, but is important in providing a symbolic tie for immigrants back to their home country, allowing them to retain certain legal and property rights. This lenient view of dual citizenship is also echoed by Spiro (2000), who reflects on the position of the USA in light of the Mexican government's decision to change its naturalization law and grant dual citizenship to Mexicans in the USA. Whilst this has created some controversy in the USA, Spiro suggests that it is time to adapt to changing realities, and suggests that we use the term co-nationals to identify what he considers is a positive relationship being formed by those with more than one national status: dual nationality should be tolerated, if not actively encouraged, in the national interest.... The dual-national who becomes politically assimilated in the United States will presumably come to internalize our constitutional values. If that person remains politically active in his or her country of origin, he or she will also presumably apply those values there. As this occurs, dual nationality may become a vehicle for advancing the cause of global democracy (p.7). Whilst certainly an optimistic and unproblematic reading of citizenship practice, Spiro's sentiment indicates the growing acceptance of the complexities transnational actors present to the state/the limitations of present citizenship discourse, and the transformative pressures this encompasses. Soysal (1994) also explores the limits of citizenship discourse in its current form by considering modes of immigrant incorporation in Europe. Her argument has two main components; firstly that "incorporation style bears the" imprint of collective paradigms of membership that persist over time" (p.36), and secondly that incorporation models change "as new global discourses permeate their boundaries" (p.36). Soysal argues that although a transnational order dictates the recognition of human rights, the nation-state is still the actor that administers, distributes and oversees them. Soysal argues that 41 citizenship models based on closed national spaces cannot reflect the increasing complexity of citizenship and advances the idea of "postnational citizenship" where the presence of multiple citizenships and interconnected nations shape ideas of citizenship, such as within the European Union. Soysal's argument, though persuasive, is questionable. Her research method examines incorporation through institutional groups, and her conclusion—that citizenship and incorporation are mediated through these institutional routes of ethnic organizations and politically representative organizations— is therefore tautological. Additionally, Soysal's institutional focus on:citizenship practice ignores the meanings of citizenship at the local community level, leaving the definition of citizenship in the hands of the state whilst simultaneously arguing that the state is no longer an adequate space from which to conceptualize citizenship models. Whilst Soysal moves beyond and above the space of the nation-state, she overlooks the local and translocal context within which citizenship practice is implicated. Unlike Soysal, Joseph (1999) focuses on the performance of cultural citizenship, where dislocated South Asian transnational migrants — whose expulsion from East Africa constructs their, citizenship histories as complex and partial - search for ways to belong in their new diasporic homes through cultural mediations such as film,.literature and music. Joseph also advocates ideas of postnational citizenship, where the rise of disaporic groups pose challenges to our traditional notions of nationalism as territorially and socially bounded. Drawing upon Appadurai's ideas, Joseph argues that thinking postnationally allows us to perceive forms of identity that are not primarily fixed to the traditional concept of citizenship: The concept of the postnational demystifies citizenship as a social good and demands a reconsideration ofthe categories, assumptions, and practices of citizenship as a 4 2 social agent in a transnationally interdependent world. Citizenship here is a performed and continuous process of becoming as much as it is a fictive and imagined state of being. It is simultaneously bound up by the mythography of the nation and mediated by the social biographies of its heterogeneous populace. Its conditions of possibility are enacted through laws as well as through cultural practices, fracturing coherent categories of citizenship (p. 158). Joseph therefore, unlike Soysal, recasts the nature of citizenship by identifying the changing forms of citizenship practice immigrants perform, but which do not take a single national space as the ontological grounding for their identity, complicating ideas of place and identity. It is this lack of a coherent national allegiance that Aihwa Ong also explores in her work on flexible citizenship (Ong, 1999). Ong focuses her attention on transnational ethnic Chinese immigrants, a particularly cosmopolitan and elite class of migrants whose identity is shaped through their use of global cultural and economic capital. Ong views these individuals as active agents who exploit situations within their own families and communities in order to structure a successful life transnationally. Ong uses the term flexible citizenship, to refer especially to the strategies and effects of mobile managers, technocrats, and professionals seeking to both circumvent and benefit from different nation-state regimes by selecting different sites for investments, work and family relocation (p.112). Ong's work reflects her own positionality as an ethnic Chinese academic who moves " across various locations within these flexible citizenship circuits. Ong's argument is directed at a very particular group of elite, urban, ethnic-Chinese migrants. Her reading of culture for this group is highly instrumental, and though it is important to stress the role of political economy, the importance of capital is presented as paramount, with little room for discussion of other motivating factors or issues of debate. Her argument is, however, important for revealing the complexities of immigration and citizenship in an 43 era of greater mobility, and the role class plays in positioning certain groups in a privileged place vis-a-vis the state. Arguably we could see this group as the global or cosmopolitan citizens par excellence, whose allegiances are shaped by self-interest and capital accumulation. From this perspective Ong provides another important refrain from readings that highlight the constraints of immigrant forms of citizenship, that even though the agent is an ethnically marked immigrant, power and potential are still invested in them, they are not victimized carte blanche. The important gender and class issues Ong addresses, however, are not examined rigorously enough in relation to these flexible citizenship practices. Ong's work does provide evidence of the break between national allegiance and identification, and possession of citizenship. The performance of citizenship for these actors is therefore, as Ong argues, a flexible self-serving manipulation of legal rights and identities, mediated through the capitalist economy where citizenship rights are available to those with adequate resources, and transformations occur at multiple sites as the state operates in tandem with embodied forms of global capital. Geography and Transnationalism Geographers have been relatively late to embrace the idea of transnationalism per se, but there has been an interesting debate around issues of scale that conceptually intersects with transnationalism. Swyngedouw (1997), in particular, has been drawn to issues of scale and rescaling, and uses the concepts of rescaling, jumping or stretching scales and the gestalt of scale, to refer to the possibilities available for both the state and civil 44 society to increasingly choose at which scale to act; the local, the national, the trans-national or the supra-national. He draws examples from the radical rescaling of Europe, and highlights the potential for resistance to capitalism through labour and civil-based protest that move beyond the scale of the body and individual identity, to form more collective units of resistance through boycotts or protest movements at more effective scales (Swyngedouw, 2000). Swyngedouw (1997) employs the terms "cross-spatial articulations" and "nested scales" and these in particular hold obvious connection to the ideas of transnationalism as developed by Basch et al. Despite these similarities though, Swyngedouw's arguments are based principally within the realm of materialist production, offering little reference to the importance of cultural factors that shape and determine the possibilities of rescaling and interaction between groups. In particular the dominance of structural forces within global capitalism compels him to refer to the marginality of immigrant groups within Europe. This generalized casting of immigrants as a disenfranchised group overlooks the moments when immigrants may be intensely engaged or complicit with the state and its political machinery (Soysal, 1994), or instances when immigrants themselves possess economic and social power (Ong, 1999). Swyngedouw's general assumption that immigrants are marginalized does not reflect the situation in Canada, where immigrants and immigrant groups can be actively engaged in citizenship practice, and utilizing the benefits of Canadian democracy, as my research findings will demonstrate. Swyngedouw, as with Harvey (1996), is tied into a primarily materialist vision of spatial articulations, and overlook or diminish the deeply cultural motivations of transnational practice. Swyngedouw's interpretations of scale do not include a serious engagement with the scale of the body. Although Harvey does focus on 45 the body (Harvey, 1999), his is also an explicit focus on the strategies of materialist accumulation that surround it. Neither interprets the individual within the sphere of social reproduction, and it is within this domain that immigration is activated and its limitations most intimately experienced. Though these practices certainly lead to outcomes with significance for global capitalist production (such as the movement of capital, goods, and .labour), to construct their meaning through structural -materialist norms misplaces incentive and motivation, it also flattens issues of internal difference, in particular the different relationships immigrants exhibit with systems of governance based upon class, gender and race. Transnationalism though obviously exhibiting points of intersection with these debates over geographical scale, has emerged from the position of the immigrant individual and the particularities of their location. Both, approaches argue for the importance of understanding the role of political economy and global capitalism, but one layers its argument over immigrants, while the other builds its argument from the immigrant's unique transnational location. Since the recognition of immigrant transnational networks has been triggered from the location of the individual agent, it is hardly surprising that anthropology has been the most dominant arena for the definition and advancement of a transnational approach to immigration. The anxieties that anthropologists experience in relation to their representation of the 'other', their assumptions about the 'natural' link between identities * and spaces, and their own problematic forays into the field 'over there', have been ripped asunder by the increasing mobility of the third world subject in an age when Asian and African immigration has replaced the dominance of European migration. Within anthropology there has been an on-going debate over issues of representation and 46 anthropology's links to an imperial project of presenting the primitive other for the consumption of western audiences. Scholars such as Appadurai (1996a, 1996c), Ong (1999), and Clifford (1994), have been very influential, but too often this research depends upon personalized anecdote, that while illuminating and inspiring for younger scholars, still depends upon the 'foot soldiers' marching out to gather the partial facts and stories that can more fully illuminate and add meat to the bones of a transnational project. Both Ong and Appadurai possess social capital in this field because their own positionality places them within significant transnational circuits. Their work uses personal anecdote.and vignette to great affect, more so for Appadurai, but even Ong exhibits a casual approach to empirical research. This trend may represent the reaping of seeds sown in an age when the production of knowledge has been subject to rigorous postmodern critique. Such intricacies will be considered in the following methodology chapter, but as Mitchell has highlighted, geographers can offer more rigorous interpretations of transnational processes: Without "literal" empirical data related to the actual movements of things and people across space, theories of anti-essentialism, mobility, plurality and hybridity can quickly devolve into terms emptied of any potential political efficacy. It is geographical context, and thus geography as a discipline that is best placed to force the literal and the epistemological understandings of transnationalism ;to cohere (1997, p. 110). How do we, as geographers; begin to alter our spatial concepts in light of the connections, circulations and transformations international migration has introduced into Canada's urban landscape? How do we embrace the realization that immigrant settlement within western cities has always been shaped by engagement with other, often distant places? Appadurai (1996a, 1996c) has tackled these ideas at an abstract level, and his 47 insightful theorizations on the links between nation -states and circulating populations who struggle to reterritorialize their identities across the uneven landscapes of global modernity, has provided important intellectual stimulation. His idea of a translocality, though directed at transitory sites such as tourist locations and refugee camps, provides a framework that overcomes the burdensome dichotomies of global/local, developed/undeveloped, here/there: such locations create the complex conditions for the production and reproduction of locality, in which ties of marriage, work, business, and leisure weave together various circulating populations with kinds of locals to create neighborhoods ;that belong in one sense to particular nation-states, but that are from another point of view what we might call trans localities (1996 p.192). Through the idea of the translocality we see how places are merged through people's movements in ways that transcend their immediate national context. Appadurai presents these ideas to counter the anthropologist's traditionally static treatment of locality and neighbourhood. Rather than accept the local as a fixed construct, he asks: "What can locality mean in a world where spatial localization, quotidian interaction, and social scale are not always isomorphic" (179). Now to urban, social and cultural geographers this question is hardly novel, our whole perception of the production of urban space is saturated with the recognition of how the spatial and social'are constructed across an uneven landscape of difference (Hanson and Pratt, 1995; Bourne and Ley, 1993; Ley, Hiebert, and Pratt, 1992). Geographers are therefore eminently positioned to make a contribution to this line of enquiry. Within geography there are strong traditions of research that can be used to contribute to discussions about transnational processes. These interests, however, have in the past been divided between population, development and urban/cultural geographies 48 focusing on immigrant receiving urban centres. Transnationalism forces connections between all these nodes, and therefore geographers engaging in transnational research need to connect more fully across these broad sub-disciplinary areas, demarcations that have traditionally resulted in spatial division, not connection. The co-joining of urban/rural and developed/underdeveloped through the lens of transnationalism is reflective of the changing nature of space during an era of globalization. The spatiality of these changes has been an important aspect of transnational debate, as this chapter has shown. I contend that the separation of sub-disciplines withinthe geographical tradition has resulted in geographers being slow to perceive and react to the emergence of transnational spaces and social practices. I consider each of these sub-disciplines in turn. Population Geography Geographers have always traditionally been involved in understanding migration and population change. Traditionally aligned to demography and numerical evaluation, recently geographers have called for more attention to population movements through an ethnographic approach where migrants' stories are used as a means to understand processes and outcomes of migration (McHugh, 2000). While Lawson (2000) makes a similar argument to McHugh's, she recognizes the long tradition of using migrant stories in research on migration decision making, especially in third world contexts, and she supports Skeldon's argument that researchers need to develop a broader awareness of the existing field of migration research before they proclaim the need for new approaches (Skeldon, 1995). The work of scholars such as Skeldon has long been an example of rigorous field-based research using migrant interviews in order to develop models of 49 migrant decision making in third world contexts, often tracking rural to urban migration patterns.11 White and Jackson (1995), argue that population geography as a sub-field has tended to separate itself from other sub-disciplines through its reluctance to engage with social theory and contemporary debates about the production of knowledge. White and Jackson argue that population geographers, as demographers, have access to significant quantitative data sources which they utilize uncritically. They argue that population geographers need to connect with debates over social construction, the politics of position and alternative research methodologies in'order rto reconnect with human geography more broadly, thereby enhancing its contribution to the wider debates on current global issues. It certainly is true that whilst a great amount of research and conceptual models of migration have been presented through the field of population geography, the models and frameworks of migration tend to limit the debate to the narrow concerns of individualized migrant decision-making, which are then separated from detailed discussions of global processes. Certainly transnationalism overcomes this political-economic narrowness by explicitly connecting with global processes of capitalist expansion. Area Studies, Development and Geography Whilst the field of population geography can be critiqued for maintaining a theoretical/conceptual demarcation, other branches of geographical research have also limited our recognition of transnational networks through a process of spatial demarcation. Again, whilst there is a rich tradition within geography of interrogating 1 1 The need for such rigorous fieldwork in third world contexts is linked to the paucity of data available from state and other regulatory bodies. This has not necessarily been the case in developed industrial economies, perhaps explaining the lack of awareness some researchers who work in western developed contexts possess regarding the tradition of fieldwork population geographers in third world contexts have developed. 50 issues of development, this has often been within a global framework where spatially circumscribed localities or large capitalist/state institutions are the main focus of analysis. The role of the international migratory individual has only recently been grasped as an important indicator of possible development outcomes. Indeed there are very few examples of explicitengagement across the fields of migration and development (for exceptions see Skeldon, 1997; Zack-Williams, 1995; Kearney, 1986), and yet drawing attention to these issues holds out the most promise for relevant .political'.critique. One possible explanation for geography's slow recognition of the; significance of spatial interconnectedness through third world migration is the bounded spatialization - geographers have traditionally brought to the study of place. Geography as a discipline has always been concerned with place, and geographers have undermined positivistic universal laws of development by focusing on the importance of the locality, where social context and multiply contingent factors are key to understanding economic and political development. This focus on locality has created a number of key concepts "methodologically central to the work of geographers, from areal differentiation to the spatial division of labour and locality studies (Massey, 1984). The central role of place to the work of geographers can be seen in the dominance of the region. Livingstone (1992) reviews the work of geographers like Carl Sauer and Richard Hartshorne, concluding that as a result of their common conceptualizations, geography has been shaped as the study of regions: Thus the notion of geography as the 'regionalizing ritual', provided a paradigm that still governs much geographical work, whether in the qualitative contributions of writers of regional personality or in the more quantitative emphasis of the practitioners of regional science (p.33). 51 This 'regionalizing ritual' has had an important influence on the direction geographical research has taken, and the way in which space and spatial relations have been considered. Area studies is a key example of the limited spatial conceptualizations geographers have worked within. This brand of research—where particular countries or regions ^ became marked off as a subject of special research attention - can also be seen as the product of the Cold < War, where the political interests of western nations, especially the USA, directed research within an ideologicakmindsefof spatial ;containment and alignment (Cumings, 1998). Similar critiques of the.:research?approach to studies of development have been advanced by Escobar (1995), who argues that the development of the 'third world' during the Cold War period can be seen as a discourse, in that it created a delimited space where only certain debates and certain people were heard, which then reinforced the construct. The drive for modernization and development in the third world was part of an ideological battle against communism, and western patriarchy and ethnocentrism were central shapers ofthe policies adopted by the USA and other western nations intent on 'developing' these unaligned regions of the world. As aresult, regions were both objectified and homogenized as problematic, the actual socio-cultural and political characteristics of locality were erased? and simultaneously the .connectivity between.regions and places - for example through colonial or neocolonial forms of resource extraction or political interference - were obscured. Whilst the ideological imperative forMhe 'creation'" of these regions withered, their spatially contained representations endured. More recently social scientists in general have begun to realize the significance of global connection and synthesis. The Ford Foundation sponsored White Paper, "Area 52 Studies: Regional Worlds", is aimed at creating new links between area studies and cultural studies (The Ford Foundation, 1997). The report centres on a Ford Foundation sponsored pilot program, the Globalization Project, hosted at the University of Chicago. The multiple authors of the White paper (including Arjun Appadurai and Jacqueline Bhabha) argue, no serious engagement with the comparative study of global processes can avoid the specificities of place, time and cultural form. Thus the study of areas remains a central focus of our efforts. But we are also convinced that existing .geographicaLapproaches involving bounded 'civilizations', 'cultures'and 'areas' frequently draw the wrong boundaries, ignore important interactions and are driven-by obsolete assumptions about national interest, cultural coherence andglobal processes (Ford Foundation, p.2). The authors' main focusis a pedagogic one, but with regard to conceptual approach one major recommendation they make is: "areas" need to be thought about as the results of processes, including research processes, rather than as objective clusters of cartographic, material or cultural facts. Emphasizing "process" geographies suggest new ways to approach both space and time in relation to "areas", with space becoming more flexible and porous and time less sequential and cumulative (p.8). Whilst it is still important,to maintain a to .the locality, more flexible understandings of space and time achieved by highlighting.processes and interactions across multiple scales, is central. To this end mytdissertation is based:upon a methodological and conceptual, framework based upon the idea of transnational networks that interlink across and through spatial scales. These networks provide the structures for connectivity, or articulation, circulation, or recursivity.; and transformation, or processes of change. In the following chapter I explain the concept of the transnational network in more detail. 53 Conclusion Transnationalism, in it broadest sense, illuminates our understandings of multiple social, economic and political process driven by the complexities of immigration and the changing role ofthe nation-state. The current range of research however is tightly focused on interactions between the USA and its southern neighbours. Though the extensiveness of transnationalism poses some methodologicahand conceptual concerns, attempts to contain and limit what we consider as legitimate transnational behaviour by measuring the frequency of actual trans-border crossings, risks erasing our sensitivity to how different actors are embedded within transnational circuits, even if they themselves do not frequently cross borders. Using a transnational approach where migrants act as the entry point, allows us to engage with issues of development and global capitalism in order to examine transnational processes across spaces and scales. Employing a transnational network concept based on connectivity, circulation and transformation enhances this concern with process. Transnational approaches allow a focus on individualized forms of connections, but within a global-framework. While geographers have been active in debates over scale, there is.a need to promote less structural analysis in favour of interpretations that recognize the diversity of immigrant experience and its variable intersections with modes of capital expansion and state regulation. As such this really is the site where geographers, with their ability to work at the micro, meso and macro scale, and across multiple regions, can draw out social and spatial intersections which have intensified as the rate of global migration has accelerated, and its sources 54 diversified across an increasingly unequal economic landscape. A transnational framework allows a new lens to be utilized that no longer separates and isolates regions as zones of study in isolation from global events, but depends upon a rich tradition of synthesis so familiar to many geographers today. Geographers, despite their late attraction to transnational approaches to immigration, possess the research traditions of empirical investigation and theoretical application necessary to develop arguments that hold both the socio-cultural specificities of the local, or translocal context, and structural conditions driven by capital and state, inxreative tension, without overwriting one with the other. 55 CHAPTER TWO METHODS AND NETWORKS Transnational methodologies have not been extensively considered within geography. Within anthropology however, attention has been directed to the nature of transnational studies, the traversing of political boundaries, the spatial complexities of transnational space, and the diversity of meanings encompassed within it (Hannerz, 1998). Also from within anthropology, Mahler (1998) has stressed the importance of focusing on issues of mobility, power and identity within transnational social fields. While these points echo those made in Chapter One, this chapter addresses methodological questions in an attempt to chart a framework for transnational studies within geography using a network approach. To achieve this, the chapter is composed of three main sections. First, I will review how debates in human geography regarding methodology have altered our perceptions of objectivity, thereby facilitating more diffuse procedures for knowledge production. Secondly, I consider the use of multiple forms of data, both qualitative and quantitative and how this intersects with a network approach. Thirdly I present a detailed review of my research methods and offer some personal reflections regarding gender and the nature ofthe field" in transnational fieldwork. Scientific Objectivity, Post-Positivism and Geography In Chapter One I described how the study of immigration and socio-spatial linkages are being transformed through the concept of transnationalism. I reflected upon the limited 56 development of this emergent field within geography by considering how the traditional sub-disciplinary and scholarly practices of geographers have restricted our abilities to recognize the extent and nature of articulations between source and destination communities, especially those stretched between regions traditionally defined as developed and less developed. In addition to this spatial barrier, geographers have also lacked methodological frameworks that would encourage and strengthen a transnational approach, dependent as it is upon multiple sites and processes. To counter this limitation within human geography, I will argue that a number of contemporary arguments coalesce to provide geographers with the freedom to develop credible integrative methodological approaches suitable to the study of transnational phenomena. Such techniques allow us to capture empirical data from multiple sources, integrating them into explanations that do not seek untenable universal laws, but which conceptualize processes at work across multiple scales, from the local through to the trans-local and global. These integrative tactics offer geographers more creative methodological approaches, contrasting earlier traditions of rigid models and fixed laws which tended to regard variations from this pattern of research as weak, unproven, and in extreme cases, even dangerous.11 review the development of methods in human geography through a consideration of recent debates over scientific objectivity. Geographical inquiry has important roots in areal differentiation and an interest in the unique nature of places and societies. These initial foundations have, however, been subject to major shifts. An important redirection came in the 1950s and 1 Disciplinary boundaries and norms are changed and challenged through various processes of academic tension and debate, in some cases the intensity of 'professional' debate is replaced by personal attack. Micheal Dear reveals the way personal and political attacks against his work on postmodern urbanism have become entwined (Dear, 2001). 57 1960s with the quantitative revolution, a positivist approach based upon the work of scientifically trained post-war geographers operating in a context of rapid growth in the academy, and the rise of computers and advanced statistical techniques. These scholars moved the discipline away from Hartshorne's regionalism and emphasis on the unique, toward a scientific approach, which sought to prove generalizable laws (Barnes, 2000). Some geographers were critical of this development, querying the dominance of positivism and the possibility of neutral scientific approaches to seek universalizing laws and theories. Since the cultural turn of the 1980s, this dissatisfaction has become more pronounced as many geographers moved through a period of disenchantment with the dominance of positivistic analysis, whose advocates proclaimed neutrality as they interpreted social phenomena. An important component of this reflection has been to critically analyze the methodological approaches used—the actual production of knowledge (Haraway, 1991). Donna Haraway (1991) has been a major influence on researchers who recognize that any authority we claim to have is based on partial knowledge. Haraway, however, resists rampant social constructivism, and attempts to forge a form of feminist empiricism, based on the idea of situated knowledges, in which the researcher acknowledges that politics and ethics ground struggles over knowledge. Knowledge is therefore not 'neutral', or 'objective' but produced, and it is in the production of that knowledge that our situatedness matters. The work of Trevor Barnes (1996) provides a useful overview of the development of economic geography by foregrounding the situatedness of key geographers who 2 Consider for example Lawrence Berg's discursive analysis of Brian Berry's call for an urban geography firmly committed to generalizable understanding, neutrality and rational objective scientific approaches. Berg critiques this position through a discursive analysis of the text of Berry's argument, arguing that such an approach represents a masculinist discourse of exclusion (Berg, 1994). 58 directed the discipline along the path of scientific method. In particular he cites the influence of David Harvey who in the 1960s and 1970s promoted scientific explanation in geography, the dominance of which prevented geographers from engaging with critical arguments emerging within other branches of the social sciences. In particular, Barnes argues the work of the Edinburgh School and the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) present strong critiques of the supposed rationality and neutrality of scientific approaches: Scientific theories and facts reflected the contingent and contextual circumstances of their social origin. The practice of science was not about applying formal and universal rules of logic to a problem but was much messier, rooted in local history and geographical conditions where scientists made things up as they went along, only later attempting to justify them. More generally, the new wavers of the sociology of science were epistemologically relativists, arguing that humans decided their own truth rather then having truth decided for them by the ineluctability of a universal scientific rationality (Barnes, 1996 p. 104). Barnes constructs his argument by compiling evidence of the multiple unraveling of various scientific approaches. One example of this is the Hypothetico-Deductive (H-D) model, where universal laws regarding relationships between variables are empirically tested to provide both explanation and prediction, offering conclusions based upon 3 * logical syllogism—the relation between the general law and empirical events. Despite the confidence geographers invested in the H-D model and other forms of scientific method and explanation, Barnes argues that from the late 1950s the H-D model had been subject to various criticisms from philosophers such as Popper and Kuhn, whose arguments led to the view that science - rather than a neutral universal process - was the 3 Barnes argues that the acceptance and success of the H-D model is rooted in the four beliefs of rationalism: truth, or correspondence between observation and theory; commensurability, in that we all follow the same procedures; reconstruction to allow verifiability; and ineluctable universal logic. The H-D method satisfies these criteria, emerging as the established method for human geographers practicing scientific methods. 59 outcome of a series of local, historical practices.4 Despite these criticisms, geographers still espoused the principles of scientific approaches (even though they were often not actually practicing them), encouraging Barnes to advocate that we "lift the veil of rationalist justifications and establish the locally constructed nature of knowledge that lies behind" (p. 125). Despite the critical attention directed at claims of scientific rationality and neutrality, especially through the growing engagement with recent "post-prefixed" approaches, Barnes argues that much economic geography still straddles the post-prefixed and enlightenment split.3 What has been put into place through the critical interpretation of method however, is a "logic of dislocation", which disrupts the previously established order. Barnes argues that in place of a unified universal disciplinary system of laws, we now have to recognize that we have only "fragments and shards"; therefore our energies should not be directed to constructing single universal laws, which cannot be sustained. While Barnes provides a critical examination of the nature of geographical enquiry, specifically within economic geography, he does not explicitly outline his view of how geographers should approach research, other than his reassertion of the importance of contextualism. Contextualism, by recognizing and celebrating difference, provides economic 4 Later work within the sociology of science began to reveal how the process of scientific knowledge and its creation were rooted in contextual social constructions, "nature and reality are the by-products rather then the predeterminants of scientific activity." (Woolgar 1988, p.89 quoted by Barnes, 1996, p.l 14). 5 Barnes refers to a variety of thinkers outside of geography who have questioned the assumptions contained within the enlightenment. These include post-structuralists such as Foucault and Derrida, Post-Marxists such as Laclau and Mouffe, Postcolonials Said and Spivak, feminist scholars such as Haraway and Fraser, and philosophers Rorty and Bernstein. Barnes draws out the following similarities between these diverse debates. Firstly, all reject a teleological notion of linear progress: rationality and reason are not considered as truths but social constructions. Secondly, the subject, rather then pre-existing is created and is located in certain power constellations; therefore, there is no extra-discursive reality outside of these discourses, and no universal truths. Thirdly, all reject notions of monolithic order or logocentrism: meaning is constructed not only through what is present but also by what is absent. 60 geographers with a charter for treating places as places; it insists that the texture and specificity of place be maintained and not reduced to something less than it is (p.53, 54). Barnes' argument allows us to recognize the disjuncture between the principles of scientific investigation and the actual practice of geographical inquiry, which while promoting rationalism and scientific explanation in principle, have actually practiced methods grounded in local and contextual factors. Although he fails to explicitly outline any potential methodological approaches, his arguments provide the support necessary to present alternatives to the dogma of scientific rationality and objectivity. A further reinterpretation of the meanings of scientific objectivity and subjectivity comes from John Paul Jones HI (1995), who reviews the relationship between Geography and objectivity through a reading of Hartshorne's The Nature of Geography. He argues that Hartshorne's plea for objectivity in geography depended upon "objective descriptions of observations of nature" (Hartshorne, quoted in Jones III, p. 76). However, though Hartshorne advocated geographers undertake research objectively, Jones III argues that he did not define objectivity, or consider its construction. In an argument similar to Barnes', Jones III considers Hartshorne's objectivity as scientific presentation, and therefore it has to adhere, to the modes of representation that successfully implement the contingently agreed upon standards of conventional scientific writing. In other words, for Hartshorne, objectivity is a 'performance' that properly enacted, can be called 'science' (Jones III, p. 83, emphasis in original). Jones suggests that Hartshorne's scientific objectivity, through areal differentiation, was concerned with outcomes of processes rather than the processes themselves, and interpreted space as ontologically predefined, instead of produced. This acceptance of 61 space as predefined and separate from 'subjective' social processes was challenged during the 1960s and 1970s as geographers moved towards understanding space, human subjectivity and its influence upon everyday life through qualitative research approaches. Following this argument, I offer table 2.1 as a sketch of the possible relationships between modes of representation, the goals of research and types of methods employed. Mode of representation Objectivity Subjectivity Intended application Universal Local context Characteristics of space Ontologically pre-defined Socially produced Research purpose Predictive capacity: outcomes Recognition of contingencies: processes Common form of data collection Quantitative Qualitative Table 2.1. Objectivity/Subjectivity, Research Purpose and Means of Data Collection Table 2.1 provides a useful outline of the relations between forms of knowledge, embedded assumptions and the means by which data is collected and presented. This sketch, however, is based upon dualist assumptions, and Jones III advocates that we move past such polarizations and become "attentive to the social spaces of subjects, objects, and the context of interpretation" (p.87). In conclusion his arguments are similar to Barnes' since both suggest that scientific objectivism in geography is a product of its own epistemological context, and that research sensitive to context (Barnes), and contingency (Jones III) is the key to revealing social and spatial processes through 62 empirical research. What does this demand for contextualism and contingency lead to with regard to data collection? I suggest that such arguments dispel with ideas of methodological 'purity' and create a demand for flexibility in empirical research. This encourages the combination of quantitative and qualitative processes of data collection, previously seen as distinct and separate approaches.6 In this next section I consider how to reconcile qualitative and quantitative methods through the use of a transnational network approach. Diverse Methodologies and Transnational Network Approaches In practice, many human geographers find themselves positioned somewhere between qualitative and quantitative research approaches, since determining numerical correlation and pattern does not explain the processes behind it. The use of multiple forms of empirical data allows for systems of triangulation, where evidence from numerous sources validates an argument, and augments interpretative claims about processes and related outcomes. In particular, feminist geographers have seriously debated the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, since quantitative approaches echo the supposed universality and neutrality of scientific rationalism seen as central components in the creation of a masculinist geography that marginalizes women and women's concerns (Rose ,1993). A special focus section of the Professional Geographer, addressed this issue through the question, "Should women count?" 6 The use of quantitative methods is not the same as positivism, since the former provides empirical evidence using various data sources, and the later assumes a process of investigation and explanation that is value-free and therefore neutral. Reiterating Haraway's point, it is not that empiricism, whatever form it takes, is the problem, it is the assumption of universality and neutrality that needs to be challenged. 63 (Mattingly and Hindi, 1995). The discussion revealed that a number of feminist geographers found it important to utilize different methodologies depending upon the research question and the intended audience, and in certain contexts quantification made important contributions to highlighting the significance of female participation and issues of direct importance to women, such as commuting distances and access to suitable housing and employment (McLafferty, 1995). Rocheleau's (1995) research on women's land-use in the Dominican Republic is constructed through both survey data and interview data, where women produce maps of their land use. Her research is informed through feminist post-structuralist arguments, and in particular she draws from Haraway's (1991) ideas of partial objectivities. The acceptance of partial objectivities obviates the need to choose between multiple and irreconcilable subjectivities or the single objectivity of an omniscient gaze. Rather, it challenges scientist to revalue the subjective, then stretch and combine it into something that can be verified and validated through a variety of methods (including quantitative measures) within an ever widening circle of shared experience (Rocheleau, 1995, p. 459). Once we critically assess the idea of "objectivity', as Barnes, Jones III and Haraway have done, we undermine the very structure of difference that held quantitative and qualitative forms of data at separate ends of a science-society spectrum. What we can replace this with is a form of empirical inquiry that can be verified and validated, for example through triangulation, repetition or internal recognition. The research approach I utilize, and one that entails interaction with a number of different forms of data collection, is the idea of transnational networks. I review what I mean by the term network, and then go on to explain how both qualitative and quantitative data are vital for identifying network dimensions. 64 Networks Initially used in geography to define transportation systems made up of nodes and links, this early network idea conceptualized geography as ontologically fixed space, where physical distance acts as a central component in any calculation regarding the characteristics of transportation networks (Hay, 1994). The term has since been used in a number of very different ways, and I trace some of these uses in order to develop a concept of the network where connectivity, circulation and transformation are central factors. In this way my use of the network concept provides not just a structure of articulation and transmission that spans space, but is also indicative of wider processes of change involving actors at multiple scales, from the individual through to the state, and each of these scales lends itself more easily to different empirical forms. Social scientists for some time have known about the fundamental role social networks play in shaping individual action. Barry Wellman, for example, has been influential for his focus on the nature of ties between individuals, and how social networks channel resources and shape outcomes within diverse kin groups (Wellman, 1990). Researchers in Montreal have looked at how immigrants use different types of networks or links (weak links versus strong links), and to what degree these networks assist in integration, especially for women (Rose et al, 1998). Recognition of the importance of social networks in academic research on immigration and social relations is now so widespread that even economists are arguing that social networks are key to 65 understanding processes of international migration (Goiter, 1998).7 The idea ofthe network is now firmly associated with immigrant movements, settlement and outcomes. Yet networks in this sense tend to be seen as individualized forms of family/group interaction, and tend to underplay the role of ongoing circulatory processes of migration and global processes central to transnational arguments. In particular the moments when the immigrant individual has to pass through forms of state regulation is absent from this conceptualization of the network. Expanding the network metaphor to incorporate interaction between the immigrant individual and agents of capital and the state is a necessary requirement of transnational arguments. Geographers have utilized the idea of the network at scales above the individual, in particular for interpreting links within and between organizations and for understanding production systems. Manuel Castells (1996) has been most prominent in advancing the network idea through his work on "the network society." Drawing mostly from the work of economic geographers, he argues that changes in technology have allowed an informational economy to develop, and the transmission of this information and the operation of this new economy depends upon various types of networks. Castells' argument, however, is uncritically based on secondary readings of economic geographers' interpretations of changing production processes which are then unproblematically re-presented as wholesale shifts—such as Fordism to Post-Fordism -without acknowledging that labour and production process are in fact highly differentiated depending on several variables including locality, regional and institutional This has been important in overturning the general assumptions about human behaviour based on the idea of Homo Economicus and profit maximizing behaviour, allowing for more nuanced research approaches that stress the significance of socio-cultural context and the effects of social identity upon actions. 66 culture, and labour traditions etc. In addition, Castells does not provide any evidence of how these networks operate on the ground other than stressing the importance of connectedness: "structural ability to facilitate noise-free communication between its components", and consistency "the extent to which there is sharing of interests between the network's goals and the goals of its components" (p. 171). Castells' network concept projects an image of hegemonic corporate overlay, where tension and friction within the system is minimized or eradicated. Certainly more empirical grounding is needed to justify his confidence that the network society might be the metaphor for a new historical era. Castells' network metaphor is useful for identifying the radical changes communication technology can have on the production system, and related to this, social organization. Nonetheless, his idea of the network society risks becoming a universal law with little place for the recognition of the unequal power relations embedded within networks, or those absent from them. As a metaphor, Castells' network society is both too broad and too partial. Too broad, in that he envisions the network to infiltrate across global economic space, when plainly there are people and places absent or only partially connected to these networks, and too partial since the operation of the network is based upon a number of inequities and imbalances in power relations, and these are differentiated along multiple axes which are not adequately discussed. His arguments however do stress the importance of the network as a system of connectivity and the importance this connectivity entails for organizational structures. Perhaps the most interesting use of the network idea stems directly from the debate over scientific objectivity, and emerges from the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar's (1979) ethnographic approach to how 67 scientific knowledge is constructed, reveals the importance of social relations and interaction within the laboratory, and traces how the actual process of scientific discovery is erased through the translation of findings into facts and laws. Their approach, termed actor network theory or ANT, places scientific discovery into its context of the laboratory, and highlights how social interaction shape the translation of events into 'facts'. Unlike Castells' idea of the network, which stresses links between actors and information, actor network theory identifies the components of relational materiality— links between human and non-human members, and performativity—the changes that occur to them as they become part ofthe network (Law, 1999). Latour argues that network, as he and others use it, denotes a series of transformations, not merely "instantaneous, unmediated access to every piece of information" (p. 15) as Castells' work suggests. In addition to advocating the importance of transformation, Latour argues that ANT allows for a summing up, which brings the researcher closer to the local, not away from it, and as a result, scale or differences between scales, become less important since all situations require a local "framing", and a local "summing up". Though this argument is important for creating a form of inclusivity not undermined by the network's traversing across scale, scale does matter for network interpretations since it also indicates the context, be it; household/family, local/community, national/state regulation. Despite this limitation, ANT is more about circulation and transformation than information access and sharing, and within this approach space is variable, subject to change and transformation just as social actors are. Actor-network theory therefore depends upon a different idea of space than the early transportation model of networks, 68 an idea of space that is subject to malformation - creases and folds, as Latour refers to them. In striving to develop his spatial concepts, Latour turned to geography, but found it "useless for ANT" (Latour 1997, p.2). But Latour's reading of geography, as merely physical mapping and measuring, displays an impoverished perception of the discipline. Murdoch (1998) challenges Latour's limited interpretation of geography, explaining that geographers have long had a different understanding of space than Latour assumes. Several key geographers have been active in debates over space, arguing that it is not a rigid fixed container for social actions, but is both constituted by and constitutes social relations: the spatial and the social are interwoven. As Murdoch argues, "the 'malleability' of space has been a recurrent theme in geographical analysis" (p.358). Such malleability allows different interpretations of space to emerge which overcome the limitations Latour refers to, and permits the development of a network approach suitable for allowing interpretations of scale and spatial articulation that challenge previous dichotomies of global/local, developed/undeveloped. Drawing partially from Latour's primarily methodological approach, which recognizes circulation and transformation in addition to Castells' connectivity, allows geographers to utilize the network idea in conjunction with transnationalism. In this regard my use of a transnational network approach highlights the need for identifying systems of connectivity, circulation and transformation at a multi-sealer levels, but still framed within their own localities and translocalities. I review Basch et a/'s four premises of transnationalism from Chapter One and indicate why they need to be addressed through a network approach using multiple forms of data collection. 69 Firstly Basch at al argue that; "Transnational migration is inextricably linked to the changing conditions of global capitalism and must be analyzed within the context of global relations between capital and labour" (Basch et al, 1994,p.23). An expanded network idea can interpret the position of the immigrant individual within the context of these global relations. Empirical data to illustrate these processes is best provided through quantitative data sets often created by large state or international organizations such as the IMF (remittance and other financial data), and individual governments (immigration and banking data). Secondly, Basch et al suggest that, "Transnationalism is a process by which migrants, through their daily life activities and social, economic, and political relations, create social fields that cross national boundaries" (1994, p.27) As I discussed in Chapter One, Basch et al consider that network analysis has been limited only to immigrant social relations, and has not considered the outcomes of such transnational networks. My use of a network approach within a transnational context moves beyond analysis, making transformation one of its three key components. An interpretation of such transformations depends upon multiple forms of data collection and interpretation to reveal the complex process of social and spatial change, as I demonstrate in section three of this dissertation. Basch et al's third premise is that "bounded social science concepts such as 'ethnic group', 'race' and 'nation' can limit the ability of researchers first to perceive and then to analyze the phenomenon of transnationalism." (p.30). By entering the research field through the network, i.e. respondents adopt the researcher into their networks; the researcher has the potential to have their pre-determined assumptions overturned. For example, though my research parameters were predefined by the national fix of Canada 70 and India, my adoption into multiple networks introduced me to individuals from other nations, who were central players in the networks I engaged with. My assumptions about national identification were therefore contradicted through my actual movement through immigrant networks, and my conception of a transnational network moved from a limited vision of interaction based on two nations, to an appreciation of the expansive nature of Indian transnationalism. This type of data collection depends upon an openness and flexibility normally reserved for participant observation. Fourthly Basch et al argue, "by living their lives across borders, transmigrants find themselves confronted with and engaged in the nation building processes of two or more nation-states" (p. 3 4). This spatial and social complexity depends upon the researcher actually moving through space and gaining an insight into how immigrants experience complex social positions. Such interpretations are best shaped by personal interview and reviews of secondary data such as literature, popular magazines and film etc. In conclusion, the development of a transnational network approach is dependent upon a flexibility of method that would not be legitimate in an era of scientific objectivity and methodological and theoretical purity and universalism. Context, contingency, locality and interaction are central aspects of my research, and therefore a network approach sensitive to circulation, connectivity and transformation placed in conjunction with the collection of multiple forms of data, allows me to present at least a partial view of transnational immigrant links between India and Canada. I now consider my research parameters and experiences. 71 Research Methods and 'the Field' My research was conducted across two main sites, Greater Vancouver, British Columbia and the Doaba region of Punjab, India. In addition to these specific locations I also conducted several interviews in Delhi, Mumbai, and in Toronto. My research in Vancouver took place specifically over a sixteen-month period between March 1998 and October 1999, but previous research since 1995 with various other projects also * * 8 contributed to my understandings of Indian immigration and settlement in this region. Following my research in Vancouver, I spent October 1999 to March 2000 in India, primarily in Punjab, interviewing various people linked to immigrant networks as well as government officials.9 The core process through which I managed to operationalize a transnational approach was by inserting myself into networks that Vancouver respondents introduced me to. Rather than use universities and research centres as my base when I was in Punjab, I usually stayed with the counterparts of my Vancouver contacts. As a result, due to the intimacy I developed with research informants who were also my hosts, my research in India, though shorter in time, was actually much more intense than my Vancouver experience. My interactions and everyday experiences of living with Punjabi families proved to be fundamental in helping me develop an understanding of how social and spatial relations are developed and maintained between the two regions. I was also fortunate to stay with families of different social status and transnational positionality: for 8 Several projects have enhanced my research expertise: My MA thesis research; various research assistantship positions with the Metropolis Community Studies Project; as a graduate fellow of C1SAR (the Centre for South Asia and India Research) at UBC; and community work with PICS, an immigrant serving society in Surrey. 9 My research was funded by the Shastri-lndo Canadian Institute. 72 example one family were themselves transnational, moving between Punjab and Vancouver on an annual basis, while another were Indian citizens and residents with multiple links to several overseas Indians connected to their village. My entry and understanding of how these networks operated depended primarily upon qualitative research approaches such as unstructured and semi-structured interviews and participant-observation. Such qualitative research approaches tend to have less influence, especially outside of the academy. Baxter and Eyles (1997) argue that one reason for this is the lack of any agreed upon criteria of evaluation, and have therefore developed a set of general criteria for increasing validity and rigour in the assessment of qualitative work. Using their model, I adopt four of their suggested criteria; appropriateness, interview practice, procedures for analysis and building credibility, in order to present my methodology. This assessment, rather than stifle creative research, seeks to allow evaluation of research findings in order to facilitate dissemination to larger audiences. Appropriateness of Methodology The need for detailed information about the various flows circulating through immigrant networks between India and Canada, and the transformations that occur as a result of these circulations, could not be revealed through a dependence on quantitative data alone. As I will discuss later in Chapters Five and Six, quantitative data regarding capital and trade flows - though essential for indicating official recognition and meaning—provide a rather blunt and uncertain measure of the true nature and impact of such circulations. With regard to immigration numbers, there is more information especially from the 73 Canadian side, but again numbers alone do not give an indication of the important transformations occurring in both India and Canada. It is also necessary to recognize that dependence on numbers alone gives little explanatory depth to understanding the social and cultural processes that create and are recreated through transnational spaces of circulation. As a result of these demands, I used multiple methodologies to bring into connection both human and non-human actors—commodities, capital, government policy as well as people—in order to reveal the circulations and transformations occurring with a transnational field. The real anchors of my research were the people who formed important nodes in extensive social networks that transcended Vancouver and Punjab. In retrospect, I can identify four respondents who became my main anchors or 'gateways' into the transnational field. Two respondents were involved in fundraising projects, one family ran a successful fashion business, and one was simultaneously involved in food processing and export from India in addition to raising funds for their village.10 In addition to these key informants, I also interviewed several others who were more specifically linked to particular circulations, be they trade, capital or immigration. Figure 2.1 presents a simplified schematic to represent how these respondents and others combined into a series of networks. 1 0 My access to these respondents came through various channels. In one case I made a presentation to students in a Sikh studies class I was taking at UBC, and as a result of this one student offered an introduction to her father, respondent Ajit Singh (pseudonym) who proved a very important contact. G.Dhesi was initially referred to me through the Canada-India Business Council because he was actively involved in trade with India. After interviewing him 1 also discovered that he was very active in fundraising for his village, which was the more important lead. I made contact with respondents Sarjeet and Meena Brar (pseudonym) due to my work as a research assistant on another project connected with immigrant settlement in Vancouver, for which I thank Geraldine Pratt. Respondent Dhahan was involved in a hospital project that had developed connections with the University of British Columbia's nursing department, and through these contacts I was referred to the hospital in India. 74 IQ n to CD n o l=r CP o ST H - 3 ° ° §• 5 ' , . 3 CD 0= 3 ft e |T3 'Tl o O C < CD a" W W a g 3 o DO M , £ 3 ^ I" 3 o 03 M , 03 3 a- & a. &2 > It-1 •n r o loo a. 2 14 o B ' § o CD & B O 133 (-j S * S o 5' o . !» 5 w 3. ° £ io 3 cr « =• CD 3 3 p> o> _ w s 3 o KJ • I5, CD CO CO 3 o § a. P3 B" CD 3 Q g O I& If CD a. CD O a. o CO 0 . £0 TJ C t pi o. CD o o i— cr CD W 9 B ^ 2 3 CD 3 -3 . CD CD § £ ° CD 3 O < B" o 3 & cr 03 ffl 3 3 S 2. Vi p O <"* O NJ o < & § B-2 g 2. £• 3 ° CD S. tr S.2 B. .—. . B ' £ t f E CD CD 0> rt-a* 2. B 5 3 IT3 | o T CD Cj a- 5 0 » cr ^ ^ o 3 O CD » Zf " Vi Vi K ) i— ?d ?o ?o CD CD CD CD Vi Vi Vi T3 T3 T3 O O O O 3 3 3 3 a a a a CD CD CD CD 3 3 3 3 b I ^ CO GO CD C ' •M 2 3* 03 03 *t B- e 03 ^ S t T • T • UJ — B- i " » CD 2 2 B- 3 2.2. 2. 5 w ™ S - c ? g » »• p. °* er > o o c < w co o o W H o > > co O c O w co to 75 Across all sectors (immigration, capital, trade and social networks) there are five major networks linking respondents in both India and Canada. The network is revealed by the use of a symbol beside the initial contact from Vancouver, (first column) and then, where applicable, beside the respondents in India. There were several other Vancouver respondents who offered contact details for India, but these five represent the major networks I followed. The middle column represents the data type used to gather information on that particular line of enquiry. In all cases except for certain immigration data, quantitative data were collected in Canada.11 It is apparent from the numbers of interviews and field visits listed in the social networks section that certain networks yielded more contacts than others. This should not be taken as a proxy for the extent or 'quality' of information, because in some cases, such as with trade, immigration and banking, a single interview with an official provided important specialized knowledge. The benefits of the social networks, however, meant that after multiple interviews and field visits, patterns emerged as to which issues were the most important regarding immigration and transnational networks between India and Canada. All interviews in Canada, except one, were tape-recorded. In India the ability to tape interviews was prevented by three factors. Firstly several Canadian officials in India requested interviews not be taped; secondly, infamous power surges in Delhi managed to destroy the tape recorder's power transformer; and thirdly, during field work in India there were days when I interviewed up to six people, and besides these formal meetings, I would often talk casually with key respondents. If all these meetings had been audiotaped, the sheer volume of tapes would have become overwhelming to transcribe. "Gaining access to data in India was difficult, often it did not exist or I was unable to persuade officials to provide it to me. In situations where the data was widely available, such as with the Reserve Bank of India, the numerical information was available through the Internet and therefore accessible in Canada. 76 As a result I decided to take detailed notes, which I usually transcribed that night along with field notes onto my now deceased laptop computer (another casualty, I suspect, of the Delhi brown out). This proved to be a more practical way to manage field data and allowed for continual review and interpretation of the issues and comments raised. Interview Practice Interviews in Canada were undertaken in a more formal manner than the majority of interviews in India. In Canada my interviews began with key trade officials, who referred me to other potential respondents, banking officials who were involved in Indian transactions, and immigrants who maintained active links with India. Interviews with officials were standardized (see appendix 1 for interview questions), but each was subject to certain variations depending upon specialty areas and the respondents' own backgrounds.12 My rapport with these respondents was generally very good; the majority were men who seemed to enjoy talking about India-Canada trade opportunities. Certainly as McDowell and Court (1994) have suggested, the fact that I was a woman seemed to make the respondents react to me in an open and positive, if somewhat paternal, manner. With regard to social networks, three of the Canadian respondents were interviewed as immigrant individuals, and one as a family unit. With these respondents I developed a 1 2 Provincial and business association officials, who were specifically connected to Indian trade issues, were predominately of Indian background. 1 3 The Brar family are also respondents in a larger Metropolis funded project on immigration settlement and community; the community focus is Surrey and the principal investigator is Geraldine Pratt. My research interests are distinct from this larger project in that I was involved specifically in transnational linkages, rather than interested in settlement issues in Surrey. Of course my own experiences as a research assistant in this project has enhanced my understandings of issues within Surrey and how they connect with developments in Punjab. Drawing distinct lines and compartmentalizing personal experiences between my work in Surrey with this project and my own work across Vancouver and Punjab, is however a futile exercise which undermines the whole point of adopting a transnational approach. Despite this, the two projects ask different questions of the respondents. In addition, once in Punjab the Brar family provided important support for general access within Punjab to officials and other respondents who contributed to my research material. 77 deeper rapport, with multiple interviews, visits to people's homes, and other forms of recurrent contact over the entire research period. Each of these four respondents did a great deal of work in organizing my meetings with people in India, through providing contact information both to myself and their counterparts in India, as well as organizing accommodation and assistance for me with their family and friends in their towns and villages in Punjab.14 While all were of Punjabi background, there developed many lines of connection through our somewhat common experiences as immigrants to Canada, and through connections to Britain. Once in India, my interview style changed, and I have already mentioned how I took notes instead of using a tape recorder. For immigration officials, detailed questions were developed, and the information produced through these meetings was highly specific. In other contexts however, I found it inappropriate to follow set interview questions, since my guides presented me to many respondents informally, and on occasions when I did try to follow a set questionnaire regarding remittances, my host and the villagers I met continually redirected the conversation, or resisted offering specific answers. I chose to respect their evasion to such intrusive and specific questions regarding income, and eventually abandoned my set remittance questionnaire, electing instead to employ other forms of inquiry such as interviews with local bankers. My relationship to respondents in India varied depending on the extent to which my work was mediated through the assistance of others. While visiting villages I was always accompanied by men, and this was helpful because in many cases translation was needed, but it also limited my access and direction over interviews and field visits. In 1 4 In the case of the Brar family, I actually stayed with them in India since we were both there at the same time. 78 some circumstances I was frustrated at the direction I was being led, since some guides had very definite ideas about what or whom they wanted me to see.15 This was often apparent with regard to my attempts at gaining an insight into women's concerns, but this was partly addressed through visits to girls' schools and colleges, and discussions with the female staff and students there. In the villages however, my own language limitations forced me to depend upon male interpreters, or to speak only to males since they were often more proficient in English. Despite these limitations, my experiences and the assistance I received in Punjab were invaluable. Procedures for analysis My initial plan for the analysis of interview transcripts was to use NVP/O™ software for qualitative data interpretation. I proceeded to use the program to analyze data I had already collected and transcribed, but this proved to be more difficult and time consuming than I had anticipated. Due to the multiple forms of data I eventually collected—taped interviews, noted interviews, field notes, quantitative data, secondary sources such as local newspapers and detailed brochures and pamphlets—I decided against investing time in learning and utilizing the software. Instead I opted for a more practical and flexible method for analysis. All the relevant pieces of information gathered in both Vancouver and India over the previous two years were complied into distinct units depending upon the nature of exchanges they referred to. Interviews and notes were reviewed, important passages highlighted and comments and cross-references inserted. All the information was both physically and digitally filed, depending upon the 1 5 Also there was the novelty of being a white woman in a place far off the tourist track, and as such it was sometimes obvious that I was deliberately being 'exhibited' to improve that particular individual's status within the community. 79 significance it had for different areas of the research. At the end of the research period I was left with such a huge amount of material that this physical and digital filing system was the most efficient means through which to review and cross reference data. Though the qualitative software would have been helpful, the eventual nature of material gathered, the multiple questions and issues raised with each respondent, and the inconsistency of data collection methods across the two sites, was not appropriate for use with a software system that is best employed for use with standardized interview and survey data. Building credibility Since returning from India I have maintained contact with many of my key informants, particularly those who introduced me to people who became my hosts and guides in India. I have since forwarded copies of conference papers and other material to some of these respondents and received feedback. A conference presentation I wrote was circulated by the Punjab NRI Sabha in their magazine,16 and a draft chapter written for a book on transnationalism was circulated through an internet magazine published through Palahi's Rural Polytechnic.17 Both these forms of communication are directed at the transnational field, transcending both the space of Punjab and the global spaces of Punjabis overseas. I have moved through these diverse immigrant networks, and along the way I have been afforded important access to information across a broad spectrum covering different levels of governance and different spatial and social fields. I moved 1 6 "Returning, remitting, reshaping: Non-Resident Indians and the transformation of society and space in Punjab, India." Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting Pittsburgh, April 2000. 1 7 Development, Migration and Transnational Spaces. A chapter for a proposed edited collection recently accepted by Routledge for publication, based on the AAG 2000 "Transnational spaces" sessions, and to be edited by Peter Jackson. across space and through scale, and interacted with people of different caste, class, gender and ethnicity, which could only occur through the diverse research framework I have developed. A methodological approach so heavily dependent on entering social networks in order to complete fieldwork across two spatially distinct, yet socially coherent field sites, requires an immense amount of interaction, personal commitment and dislocation for the individual researcher. In my case I entered a region I had no previous familiarity with, possessing no contacts other than those developed through preliminary interviews held in Vancouver. I want to revisit the feelings of dislocation I experienced while I was in India in order to give some insight into the challenges transnational fieldwork presents, or indeed any field work which requires the researcher to relocate themselves into a setting with which they are unfamiliar. Entering the Transnational 'Field' Geography boasts a strong tradition of fieldwork, but several feminist geographers have drawn attention to this tradition as a masculinist exercise where the researcher dominates an often femininized field, a distinctly contained space 'out there' separate from the academy (Rose, 1993), which is then visualized and consumed through distinctly sexualized interpretations (Sparke ,1996). However, many other feminist geographers have argued that fieldwork can provide important opportunities for challenging dominant norms and attitudes that create and maintain spatial and social binaries, and that through our activities as scholars, teachers and community activists, the field can be understood as present in everything we do (Katz, 1994; Hyndman, 1995). Although I understand 81 Sparke's contention that "fieldwork remains imbricated within masculinist modalities of power" (1996, p.216), I want to demonstrate, by recounting my own personal experiences as a woman conducting research across a transnational field, how this construction of the field as masculinist can be complicated. I demonstrate this through two contexts, firstly by reflecting upon bodyspace, how my gender shaped my experience of space, and secondly by critically evaluating the idea of the spatialization of the field: 'over here' versus 'over there'. I experienced space in India in multiple ways, but gender was always an overbearing factor. My first arrival in India, through Delhi, was a lonely and disheartening exercise of familiarizing myself with a very unfamiliar setting. As an obvious 'tourist' unfamiliar with the city, my first week in Delhi presented me as a target for those dependent on tourists for a living. I experienced the contradictory feelings of social isolation, yet intense intrusion when I ventured onto the streets. Even in my hotel, a mid-priced hotel in New Delhi, the presence of a single white female was obviously intriguing for some of the other Indian guests. On one occasion a male guest in the hotel overheard my room number and later phoned me to offer me a small gift and invite me for lunch. His questions regarding my reasons for being in Delhi made me anxious, and when I eventually got off the phone, I could not help feeling that the safe space of my hotel had been transformed. This incident might indicate on one hand my naivete, but also the process of adaptation to different social norms and expectations I was experiencing. In subsequent trips to Delhi I understood how to negotiate, how to interpret 82 18 situations and how to move around the city despite the gaze of others. This minor example challenges Sparke's argument that the 'field' is feminized through the researcher's masculine practice of visualization. Quite contrary to this, I felt that 'the field' constantly feminized me, the researcher.19 My awareness of bodyspace was also transformed when I moved to Punjab, and stayed with some contacts made through Ajit Singh in Vancouver. My hosts were the Palahi family, a middle class Indian family living in Phagwara—a medium sized industrial town close to Palahi, one of my main research sites. Mr Palahi is the college principal in Palahi, and his wife is a school teacher. They have two children, Manjit, who is fifteen years old and attends the local Catholic school, and Joyti, who is nineteen years old and studies pharmacy at university in Armritsar. I had been in contact with Mr Palahi through email, so after my unsettling experiences in Delhi I arranged to travel to Phagwara in early November, sooner than originally planned. Once there I again experienced unfamiliarity and dislocation, yet the family setting was very safe and comfortable compared to Delhi, and I stayed with the Palahi family for seven weeks. During this time my research became intense as Mr Palahi was extremely well connected and respected throughout the region, and was very enthusiastic about my research. I was accompanied on several visits to villages, government officials, journalists and 1 8 During subsequent trips to Delhi I stayed in Paharganj, a backpacker tourist area close to the railway station where western tourists, including single women, are a central everyday part of the landscape. Here, despite the noise and congestion, I felt very safe and comfortable. 1 91 also experienced the sexualization of space in the hotel lobby through the display of pornographic materials in the magazine store, and the constant discovery of explicit pornographic jokes and images left on computer screens and printer trays at public internet facilities. 2 01 also returned there in January and February with my husband for two weeks; during this time my reception was altered, since my husband now became the centre of attention. 8 3 politicians.211 never traveled anywhere alone, nor did I seem to spend any time alone other than in my bedroom. Of course the safety of this experience was a comfortable feeling compared to the isolation and intrusion of Delhi, yet seeking time alone to contemplate and view the towns and villages was impossible. I had my own bedroom and bathroom, so would often retreat to bed early, in order to make field notes, but in reality I sought out solace and personal time alone. The family were very close, sharing sleeping quarters and preferring to be close when relaxing, reading, and doing any other work. My initial withdrawal from this interaction, I am sure, was seen as strange. The interesting thing however, was that after several weeks of staying with the Palahi family and becoming more comfortable and relaxed with everyone, I began to seek out greater closeness; sitting with everyone on a small cot in the midday sun, moving my laptop into the bedroom with Manjit and Jyoti in order to write field notes while they completed homework rather than sit alone in my bedroom. Again my experiences became paradoxical, at one level I enjoyed the closeness with the family, but at another I resented the intrusion upon my personal space, freedom and independence. The lack of open space, coupled with the manner in which I was often accompanied, became increasingly frustrating. In northern India it seemed I could never escape people, there was no place to take a solitary walk other than the areas used as public conveniences. Recreation deemed appropriate for me as a woman, always involved socializing with other women, chatting about jewelry, clothes, and food, while eating snacks and drinking chai. There seemed little in the way of physical activity for a woman that was deemed appropriate and acceptable in public - read 'male' - space. 2 1 My research fellowship covered research costs such as transportation and translation, which were paid to Palahi Polytechnic to cover the period I was with them 84 Gender, of course, was a huge factor in the way I was guided and chaperoned during my research trips. I always had a companion sent with me even if it was to visit a neighbour's house. By December I was resenting the fact that I had lost my independence and the freedom to structure my own research, so I decided to go to a Chandigarh research institute I had contact with, where I could develop my own schedule and move freely about the city.22 My first appointment in Chandigarh was with an Indian trade official employed at the Canadian regional office. He was shocked that I was traveling around the city alone. His consternation disturbed me, and again drew my attention to the fact that I appeared to be the only single white woman in the city. Heads spun round when I walked along the street, and I became sensitive and resentful of the way space in this Indian city was so gendered, and my obvious incongruent placement within it. I began to understand again what it felt like to be out of place, yet the focus of so much attention. My stay in Chandigarh at the time seemed difficult, the independence I had sought from the comfortable family setting in Phagwara came at a price. While I resented myself for not being stronger and more resilient, the imperative of planning research, data collection, interviews and meetings overtook me, and I 'pulled myself together' and ventured back out onto the streets. I only stayed in Chandigarh for a week however, and returned to Phagwara for a few more days before heading back to Delhi, this time to meet my husband. His arrival was a great relief, and his company over the next seven weeks dramatically changed the way many people interpreted my presence in India. I was no longer a woman violating social norms, a legitimate target for male visual consumption. I was now in my proper place, with my husband, despite the fact that he was dependent upon me for guidance and information. 2 2 The research institute was the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID). 85 My research experience also offers some challenges to the idea of 'the field' as a contained space over which the researcher exercises power, as Sparke (1996) has argued. As I have already discussed, my position as a woman in India subjected my mobility to the decisions of my interviewees. Certainly there were differences in our mobility, and I cannot stress enough what benefits accompany the possession of a British passport and permanent resident status in Canada. I was able to be in India and leave India when I wanted. But even if I had left India, I was not leaving 'the field', since the research field I operated within extended beyond the territorial limits of India, and as a transnational space it was never clearly demarcated. In Vancouver I would interact on the phone, over the email, make visits and attend meetings regarding my work in India, before and after my actual fieldwork period. Therefore I contend that the spatialization of my 'field' is not that of a separate and distinct space and time 'over there' or 'back then', that I can choose when and how to engage with. Instead the field is a recursive, expansive and continuous space that I hold responsibility to every time I open an email message. Conclusion With the displacement of positivism, human geography has now made space for methodologies that allow for flexible engagement with theory. I have found the concept of networks most helpful for interpreting the combination of both human and non-human actors - immigrants, state actors, capital, goods - across a transnational landscape with mutli-scaler points of connection. My actual field work and interpretations of India-Canada networks emerges from a combination of sources, both qualitative and 86 quantitative, but overwhelmingly the importance of qualitative work has been central in illustrating how processes of circulation occur and their possible consequences. I have also demonstrated the importance of personalizing the research experience to reveal how important identity is in shaping research experiences, allowing me to temper debates regarding fieldwork and masculinity. Finally I have tried to reveal how transnational space presents a different conception of what 'the field' is and where it exists, complicating both the subject's and the researcher's experience of space. 87 P A R T T W O T R A N S N A T I O N A L CIRCULATIONS AND T H E S T A T E : P E O P L E , C A P I T A L AND GOODS In the next four chapters I consider transnational circulations between India and Canada, with particular reference to the position and role of the state in monitoring and regulating these movements. I read the state not as a hegemonic unified presence, but as a series of actors, attempting to create and implement policy across an uneven terrain. Immigration provides a highly appropriate lens through which to consider these processes. While I have made the assertion that the state has been obscured in the celebratory readings of spatial transformation under globalization and transnationalism, I also want to highlight the very practical means by which I have been able to both interpret and access state actors. My association with the Metropolis Project—a federal government funded initiative directed at understanding immigration and integration across Canada's urban centres—has introduced me to individuals within Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and encouraged me to develop a keener awareness of the challenges and realities individuals within this government department face, and how those realities correspond with the actual operation of policy. By considering the state as a collection of practices and actors, I construct an image less of a dominant state enforcing its power, but more of a collection of actors operating within an increasingly transnational context, maintaining a system that has emerged due to a number of complex variables. 88 The following four chapters are primarily aimed at interpreting the circulatory dimension of transnational networks with particular reference to the moments when immigrants and state actors interact. Chapter Three attempts to understand the nature of immigrant circulation between Canada and India, and the relationship between immigration and the state both in material development factors - providers of labour and remitters of capital - as well discursively - the territoriality and meanings of nation. Chapter Four considers how Indian-origin immigrants in Canada operate across a transnational political field in order to advance their own particular needs, challenging the separateness of the state and its immigrant population, and also complicating ideas of territorial sovereignty, and of transnationalism as either from above or below. Chapters Five and Six turn to a consideration of the capital and goods transferred between Canada and India within networks created and maintained by immigrant actors. These two chapters reveal how the movement of goods and capital are encouraged, yet poorly monitored, revealing the differential porosity of political borders (Sassen, 1996). 89 C H A P T E R T H R E E I M M I G R A T I O N AND T H E N A T I O N - S T A T E In 1995, John Paynter, then Canadian High Commissioner to India, delivering a speech on Canada-India Diplomatic Relations, stated; "the bedrock of our relationship—political social, and economic—is, and must be, its people-to-people dimension" (Paynter, 1995, p.42), and in March 2001, Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan, announced her trip to India by stating: " This visit will reinforce the importance that Canada places on its people-to-people links with India".1 Canada-India relations, these people-to-people links, have been forged through the migration experiences of individuals and families who have created and maintained various forms of connection between the two states.2 I also contemplate the effect of global population movements on processes of national identity formation, both in India and Canada. Firstly I will consider the role of overseas subjects or Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the development of the national Indian economy and the state's interest in such linkages, as well as more general social reactions from Indians regarding NRIs. I then turn to consider Canada by highlighting Indian immigration processes, and related issues of Canadian immigration discourse and nationalism. These issues are complex and fascinating for the implications they present regarding nationality, development and Indian identity. 1 Citizenship and Immigration Canada news release, March 1st 2001. Minister Caplan led a Canadian delegation to New Delhi, Chandigarh and Bangalore. She was accompanied by a number of MPs whose ridings are home to large Indo-Canadian communities. 2 Indeed Paynter reveals that even before India gained independence, Nehru pressured the Canadian government to accord Indian immigrants in Canada the right to vote, thereby highlighting an early trans-political dimension of this immigration process. 90 Bombs and Bonds: Indian Nationalism and the Non-Resident-Indian (NRI) The earth was thundering below our feet, a beautiful sight—the earth moving, we saw it with terror, with joy to see the achievements of Indian science.3 We have received an enormous response from the NRI investors. This is the largest ever debt raising in India. We hope that at least for some time it will be a record difficult to beat.4 Seemingly unrelated at first glance, the Indian nuclear test explosions of May 1998 and the August 1998 launch of the Resurgent India Bond, identify the contradictory ways through which the nation of India has imagined itself. At one level the national interest is to protect and enforce the physical borders of the nation, a nation that has, after all, "cartographic anxiety inscribed into its very genetic code" (Krishna, 1994, p.508). At another level, the identity of India is constructed through an extra-national population of Indians overseas who, the state hopes, will invest in and help develop their 'motherland'. Whilst the nuclear tests attracted international sanctions and reprehensions, they also became a vehicle for advancing the image of India as a powerful state, a state that could snub international pressures while striving to join the powerful nuclear 'club'. The West baulked at the increasingly unstable situation in South Asia (Pakistan responded to India's actions by testing its own nuclear devices in the same month), and most Western nations applied sanctions immediately, denying both India and Pakistan access to aid, loans and trade development talks (Economist, 1998). In the weeks after the nuclear explosions, investors - concerned about the increasing political and regional instability— 3 Av i l Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, scientist involved with India's missile program, speaking of India's nuclear tests May 1998 (Khandeparkar, 1998). 4 Mr M.S. Verma, chairman of the State Bank of India, speaking in August 1998 about the Resurgent India Bonds issued to NRI investors (Network, 1998b). 91 pulled almost US$20 billion dollars out of the Indian stock exchange (Moore, 1998). In subsequent months, as neither India nor Pakistan agreed to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, many western nations softened their positions, with the European Union resisting full sanctions (Network, 1998a), and the US moving to a process of open dialogue, which less than two years later resulted in a historic presidential visit to the region (Economist, 2000). Three months after the May nuclear tests, the State Bank of India floated the Resurgent India Bonds (RIB), which were directed at NRI and institutional investors. Initially launched with a target of US $2 billion, the bonds were heavily oversubscribed and eventually raised US $4.16 billion.3 The great success of the RIB portrayed India as a nation that could manage to raise money effectively outside its national borders, despite the sanctions of the west and subsequent downgrading of the country's credit rating. Such over-subscription seemed to support the popular view of many Indians, "that the sons of the soil wherever they live, they help their mother land".6 As Roy (1998) has argued, the testing of the "Hindu Bomb" and the media and political discourse that followed it, constructed an idea of Indian identity that was full of fallacy and contradiction. The raising of capital some months later from Indians living and working outside India also exposes the preoccupation with pure territorially-grounded Indian identity as a contradiction, illustrating Glick Schiller's point that despite the reality of transnationalism, bounded territoriality "still remains an important part of the imagery of the transnational nation-state" (1999, p.211). The era of bombs and bonds 5 Reserve bank of India currency and finance report, December 28th 1998, 6 Personal interview with State Bank of India officials in Vancouver, December 1998. Such sentiments were expressed to me by many Indian officials. 92 presented during 1998 juxtaposes these two, among many, ideas of India: one preoccupied with enforcing borders, the other with crossing them. I begin this discussion within the context of bombs and bonds, because most work on India's rising international status has focused intensely on its defensive capacities and international tensions with its neighbours, Pakistan and China. In this chapter I will focus on a different aspect of India's rise, less profiled in the past, but nonetheless a significant part of India's ongoing integration into a globalizing world: the increasing number and power of Indians overseas. I will consider how the presence of Indians overseas in general, and Canada in particular, has shaped the types of global interactions occurring through the transmission of people, but also through the exchange of related capital and goods. Creating transnational citizens In the year 2000, India's population officially surpassed 1 billion people, representing one sixth of the total global population. Overseas migration out of India has been ongoing since the pre-colonial period, with important trading routes formed by early migrants from Southern India (Blaut, 1993). In contrast, nineteenth and twentieth century migration trajectories were heavily shaped by the colonial networks created during the period of the British Raj. The process of indentured labour introduced after the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire in 1807 was especially important. Migration of indentured labour to colonial properties such as Mauritius, Fiji and the West Indies became significant, and formed a new system of slavery in the service of the Empire 7 Though a significantly important and accessible book on the development of Indian democracy and of its struggles to create a coherent national identity, Khilnani's book "The Idea of India", hardly considers the influence of migration and NRIs on India. This is surprising—or not so—when one considers that he himself lives and works in Britain (Khilnani, 1997). 93 (Tinker, 1974). Additionally, military recruitment, and changes in the colonial economic and social environment introduced greater migratory opportunities in the late nineteenth century. Many Indians began to migrate to new settler colonies such as Canada and Australia, and rural, low-skilled populations dominated these early movements. Since the 1960s this pattern has changed as skilled migrants have been taking advantage of liberalized immigration policies in the west.8 Within India the regional sources of migration have been highly concentrated in a few states, namely Punjab, Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Goa (Madhavan, 1985). Particular migration patterns have also been linked to particular regions; for example there are strong migratory networks connecting Punjab, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Maharasta and Tamil Nadu with Middle East countries (see map of India, figure 3.1). Similarly migrants to the UK and Canada tend to come from Punjab and Gujarat; all the above states have contributed to migration to USA, Australia and West European countries (Madhavan, 1985). Today, the number of Indians, or people of Indian origin overseas, is difficult to ascertain, since the government of India has not collected consistent emigration data, and migration patterns are both well established—therefore possessing their own natural increase—and in some cases unofficial and temporary in nature. Table 3.1 illustrates current estimates for Indian migrants overseas. 8 For a more detailed discussion of the various Indian migrations over time see Jain, 1993 and Madhavan, 1985. 94 Region Number Source * Europe Britain Belgium Denmark Germany Greece Spain France Netherlands Portugal Sweden Norway Italy Switzerland Israel 942,000 3,000 1,000 35,000 2,000 6,000 5,000 3,000 1,000 2,000 7,000 69,108 60,924 19,300 Ethnic Indian, 1999, (Wisniewski, 2000) Indian citizenship 1998/99, (Eurostat, 1999) Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, Indian citizenship 1998/99, 1998. South Asian work permits ( 1998, Asian immigrants (www.statistik.admin) 1981 figures for India and Pakistan Europe sub total 1,156,332 North America Canada USA 593,120 815,000 1996 census, single ethnic origin response. (Migration, 1997) North America Sub total 1,408,120 Africa Kenya Mozambique South Africa Zambia Zimbabwe Mauritius 29,091 22,531 1,085,318 17,995 10,830 775,200 1989 1970 1996, (2.6% of 41,743,000) (Muth, 1997) 1980 figure for Asiatic 1982 figures for Asian 1996 Indo-Mauritian (68% of 1,140,000) (Muth, 1997) Africa sub total 1,940,965 West Indies and the Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda 5,565 1970 96 Barbados 1,257 1980 Dominica 37 1981 Grenada 2,811 1981 Jamaica 77,850 1996 (3% of 2,595,000) (Muth, 1997) Montserrat 40 1980 Saint Kitts 67 1980 Saint Lucia 5,056 1996 (3.2% of 158,000) (Muth, 1997) Saint Vincent 1,586 1980 Trinidad and Tobago 508,800 1996 East Indian, (40% of 1,272,000) (Muth 1997) Turks and Caicos 26 1980 British Virgin Islands 98 1980 Guyana 389,760 1980 West Indies sub total 992,953 Central and South America Belize 6,458 1991 Honduras 392,350 1996 (7% of 5,605,000) (Muth 1997) Central and South 398,808 America sub total Asia Burma (Myanmar) 919,520 1996 (2% of 45,976,000) (Muth, 1997) Malaysia 1,796,670 1996 (9% of 19,963,000) (Muth, 1997) Singapore 239,700 1998 (Singapore Department of Statistics, 1998) Asia sub total 2,955,890 Middle East Saudi Arabia 1,300,000 Indian ministry of External Affairs, personal interview Feb, 1999. Bahrain 77,000 1987 (Nayyar, 1989) Iraq 35,000 1987 (Nayyar, 1989) Kuwait 175,500 1996 (9% of 1,950,000) (Muth, 1997) Libya 25,000 1987 (Nayyar, 1989) Oman 184,000 1987 (Nayyar, 1989) Qatar 98,640 1996 (18% of 548,000) (Muth, 1997) UAE 1,528,500 1996 South Asian, (50% of 3,057,000) (Muth, 1997) Others 21,000 1987 (Nayyar, 1989) 97 Middle East sub total 3,444,640 Pacific Fiji New Zealand Australia 359,720 43,821 200,000 1996 (46% of 782,000) (Muth, 1997) 1996 Indian Ethnic Group (Statistics New Zealand 1998) 2000 (Voigt-Graf, 2000) Sub total Pacific and Australasia 603,541 T O T A L 12,901,249 Table 3.1: Location and Number of People of Indian Origin Overseas *Unless otherwise cited, all figures are drawn from US Bureau of Census, International Data Base ( The information we can ascertain from these numbers is highly limited. The table is predicated on the census machinery of individual states, and their interest in knowing who resides within their borders is highly variable. For example, the usual link between counting bodies in order to determine the allocation of resources and political representation is clearly not a priority for those countries that do not accord political representation to Indian migrants, such as the Gulf States. Also, many Indians who migrated overseas some time ago are now part of communities with complex, distinctly hybridized national identifications (those in Fiji and the West Indies for example). These numbers also tell us little about their settlement experiences and the nature of their migratory experiences; whether they are single, twice or thrice migrants, nor do we know where these migrants originated from within India. Nonetheless, for India, a nation with limited capacity to collect reliable population statistics (Natarajan and Swarmy, 1989), the use of data collected through the cadastral apparatus of other states provides a useful 98 measure of the Indian diasporic community.9 The nation of India is thereby constructed partly outside of the territorial boundaries of the state. This sense of a global Indian identity is presented in highly positive terms. For example the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) in its July 2000 meeting held in Zurich, prided itself on having representatives from thirteen countries in attendance, and passed resolutions aimed at India, Fiji and the United Nations. Indian newspapers also pay keen attention to the vast potential offered by overseas Indians. For example, the March 2000 visit of President Clinton to India was preceded by Indian newspapers reporting on "the rising clout of Indians in the US" citing data suggesting that 40 percent of hi-tech jobs in the Washington area and Silicon valley are now held by people of Indian origin who collectively earn over sixty billion US dollars (Times of India, 2000).10 These individuals are seen as possessing immense political power within the USA linked to their economic success and participation in hi-tech industry.11 Their economic, political and cultural power is of great interest to the Indian State, and these Non-Resident Indians are seen as important potential investors in India. NRIs and the Indian State Formed in the 1970s by the Reserve Bank of India to market specific savings and investments instruments to attract capital investments from the successful migrant community abroad, the term Non Resident Indian (NRI) is grounded in an economic 9 Most articles highlighting the number of Indians overseas depend upon the figures provided by other governments, for example see Abraham, 2000; Jain, 1993; Patel, 1999. 1 0 Articles in Indian magazines are fond of highlighting those NRIs who are great achievers in business and the arts, for example see The Week's special issue on the 50 top NRIs (The Week, 2000). 1 1 The cultural power of hi-tech entrepreneurs is also important. In 1999 a historic exhibition, The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms held at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, exhibited a number of important Sikh Art pieces on loan from California based hi-tech companies. 99 reading of the Indian migrant, especially those based in North America, Europe, South-East Asia and the Middle East. In response to this incorporation back into their homeland, Indians overseas created organizations to represent their interests at both the state, such as the NRI Sabha in Punjab, and at the global level, such as the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). These groups often lobby the Government of India to accord NRIs more official rights, such as dual citizenship and a greater role in national development. Since the 1980s NRIs have been seen as possible catalysts for the development of certain sectors in India, for example Rajiv Gandhi met with prominent NRIs to encourage their assistance in developing India's telecommunications system (Abraham, 2000). NRIs have been accorded several privileges, such as the option to invest hard currency with Indian banks at globally competitive interest rates. Such investments, along with regular remittances, from Indians overseas have been crucial in maintaining India's foreign reserves. In 1990 however, the Gulf War caused a massive evacuation of Indian workers from the Gulf States, and the Indian Government's foreign exchange reserves dried up as remittances plummeted. India was left with only six weeks of foreign reserves available to pay for goods such as oil and wheat. The situation forced the Prime Minster and the finance minister, under pressure from western nations and the IMF, to accelerate the process of liberalizing the traditionally closed Indian economy (Ganguly, 2000). The Indian state also looked toward NRI communities in Europe and the USA to invest in India after the initial reaction of western investors appeared restrained: "In this situation the NRI seemed appealing as a kind of 'third force,' combining the advantages of foreign capital with a native's tolerance of Indian society" (Lessinger, 1992 p.55). 100 As the number of Indians overseas increases and India depends more and more on the remittances and investments sent by NRIs, the central government has been under pressure to direct more resources toward the needs and demands of this group. In September 1999, a new office was created to focus specifically on NRI issues. Headed by an under-sectary and associated with the Department of External Affairs, the office took over most duties linked to NRIs.12 Most of the office's attention is directed to the Gulf States where three million Indians, mostly from Kerala and Punjab, are employed in semi-skilled occupations. The problems they deal with tend to be bureaucratic in nature, such as issues related to the repatriation of bodies of deceased Indians, contacting next of kin, and mediation in conflicts with employers regarding payment. In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE) there are special labour offices created to deal with issues such as death and securing death compensation from employers. The embassies overseas are also responsible for visiting Indians in jail, handling deportation orders, dealing with missing persons reports and charges of family desertion filed in India. In the Gulf States, death, death compensation, and missing relatives are the most frequent problems. According to the Deputy Secretary, NRI affairs, overseas Indians can be interpreted as a "national resource" and unofficial ambassadors who build business connections. The comments of the under secretary are useful in identifying the increased role the government of India has adopted in assisting, but also monitoring, Indians overseas. Many of the concerns NRIs have with regard to their families and 1 2 Information is drawn from an interview with the Deputy Secretary NRI Affairs, Delhi, 22 February 2000. 1 3 In Europe undocumented migration is more of an issue. Germany in particular receives a disproportionate number of asylum applications. In addition to the problems of policing the border with Poland—which passes through swamps and forests—migrants who land in Italy do not always claim asylum immediately as per regulations, but chose instead to head north to Germany to seek asylum in what are perceived as more promising labour markets (Economist, 1999). Though there are similar problems of undocumented migrants in the Gulf, Indian officials view Europe as much more of a problem, since the cold winters and lack of work make the situation more desperate. 101 homes are articulated through their home states and the various bodies set up for NRJ issues there. The central government has been a latecomer in the provision of special departments for NRIs. Despite the mundane needs for the central state to intervene, it is also important for the central government to oversee what type of Indian-based linkages NRIs develop. The potential threat to state security as experienced with Punjab separatism, is still an issue of concern for the Indian State. The Undersecretary stated that the Khalistan issue was now contained and that India had excellent cooperation from the UK, the USA and—reflecting the earlier strength of Canadian based Sikh separatists— "even" Canada, in dealing with the threat of insurgency supported abroad. He stated the suppression of the Khalistan movement has been the greatest achievement of the Indian state in the last 10 years. As Tatla (1999) recounts, the Khalistan problems in Punjab were initiated and sustained through transnational networks that worked through other states not immediately cognizant of the difficulties they would create for the central Indian state. Today the government of India monitors and blacklists any overseas associations that promote separatism, and if members of such organizations visit India the central government maintains surveillance.14 This surveillance has had a particular effect on Canadian Sikhs, and recent diplomatic efforts by former BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh have resulted in the Indian Government promising to review a controversial visa blacklist which could include a number of Indo-Canadians who have never been involved with separatist action in India (Bolan, 2001a). Despite the difficulties of the past, it seems that India has moved into a much more comfortable relationship with the millions of Indians overseas, but especially with regard to those from Punjab which, according to the 1 4 Personal interview with the Under Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, Delhi, 21st February 2000. 102 Deputy Secretary-NRIs, make up the top region when it comes to the origin of Indians overseas.15 This makes the connection between Canada and India especially interesting, since Punjab has dominated the flow of immigrants from India to Canada, and led to some very important changes and developments for societies across both nations. As the subsequent chapters on capital flows will demonstrate, these changes have been profound especially in the last ten years with the rise in immigration generally, but especially with skilled migration. Brain drain or brain circulation This current process of skilled migration overseas has been underway since the 1960s, when liberalized immigration regulations in most western nations attracted educated Indians to fill labour shortages overseas. This change has been identified by several authors, who consider the different impacts—both overseas and within India—of the "old" migration of unskilled rural labour versus the "new" movement of professionally trained migrants (Helweg, 1991; Madhavan, 1985). These professionally trained Indian migrants are the product of an education system developed in the service of Indian nationalism (Prakash, 1999). During the 1970s and 1980s this outflow of trained labour caused concern, and was discussed in India within the context of a brain drain. It was argued that the permanent overseas migration of Indians who were trained in India led to a process which "privatizes the benefits and socializes the costs" of education (Nayyar, 1989 p.l 16). A debate raged as to whether this form of "brain drain" was another way in which the rich north could exploit the poor 1 5 As already stated numbers are impossible to ascertain, but according to the NRI Sabha in Jallandhar, there may be as many as 6 million Punjabis, documented and undocumented, overseas. Personal email communication 19 April 2000. 103 south. In the case of Indians migrating temporarily to the Middle East, Nayyar (1989) argues that the amount of labour sent was negligible compared with the Indian labour market as a whole, and that most of the semi or unskilled labour that migrated were underemployed or unemployed in India where unemployment is high at all skill levels.16 This issue is still relevant today, as India has emerged as the most significant international supplier of hi-tech employees for markets such as the USA. 1 7 India has become the dominant nation quite certainly because it has a large supply of computer-trained workers, and quite likely, because prior waves of Indian information technology workers have successfully established a beachhead in the industry that places them first in the demand queue (Lowell, 2000, p.l 1). In Silicon Valley, Saxenian (1999) has suggested that rather than a brain drain, a process of brain circulation is occurring, where Indian immigrants are forming businesses in the USA and simultaneously creating business links back to India. This re-conception is important because it challenges the unidirectional idea of brain drain, which has dominated the simplistic view that migration equals the end of a relationship with one nation and the start with another. Saxenian's work suggests that the recirculation of people, ideas and money can have important consequences. In effect, her work suggests that migration is no longer (if it ever was in the first place) a zero sum game. Through this lens, we can see that the training and export of highly educated labour is one way for India to expand markets and make connections across the world. While these young professionals may be well trained, and part of a surplus labour pool in India, their reception in the USA is variable, with stories profiling the Indian 1 6 In 1990 for example, 1.2 million out of 3 million science and engineering professionals were unemployed (Mcdonald, 1992). 1 7 In 1999 Indians received 47 percent of the H-1B visas issued by the US State Department, and most of these were systems analysts and programmers trained by some of the best Indian Institutes of Technology (Warner, 2000). 104 successes in Silicon Valley contrasting—and often erasing—starker examples of exploitation. In a discussion with an Indian journalist in Delhi, he mentioned a software programmer who had been working in the USA for three months, earning food and board, plus US$50 a day. Though shamefully low wages for a software technician in the USA, the man was nevertheless happy for the work, and was returning home loaded down with gifts for his family.18 Stalker has argued that such workers "are effectively indentured to their employers, as techno-braceros, the high tech equivalent of migrant farm workers" (Stalker, 2000 p.l 14). Not only are some of these workers exploited, often by other Indians,19 but also their often-temporary presence in the USA is circumscribed by state surveillance and occasionally harassment. This warns us to temper overly optimistic readings of current migratory movements; just because the employment is presented as 'hi-tech' and highly skilled, it does not erase the presence of racialized processes of exploitation and marginalization at work in the labour market. Despite the success stories that magazines like Fortune publish (Warner, 2000), and the well-documented reports of the success some immigrants experience (Saxenian, 1999), immigrant reception, despite high qualifications, is still influenced by issues of race, class and nationalistic exclusion 1 Personal interview, Delhi 9th November 1999. 1 9 According to Lowell and Christian, the top 100 companies employing H-lBs in 1998 shows that 60 percent of their CEOs had South Asian surnames (Lowell and Christian, 2000). 2 0 In January 2000, forty Indian programmers at the Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio were arrested, handcuffed and held overnight for not having their visa papers on their person. The INS was concerned that the two Indian-owned firms who brought the workers into the USA were hiring them out on other contracts, a process called "bodyshopping". The Indian press presented the incident as a case of "Human rights, US Style", complaining that: "Uncle Sam the preacher always has a lot of sermonizing to do when it comes to dealing with Third World countries like India. But it is not the least bothered about what happens in its own backyard" O u^njab Tribune, 2000a). This incident is an interesting example of the contradictory motivations of the state, since the workers were employed by one wing of the US government, the US Air Force, and arrested by another, the INS. 105 overseas.21 This process is not only evident outside of India, since the reception of NRIs within India is also subjected to nationalistic as well as class readings. Class Position and NRI reception in India There is no doubt that the NRI has a high profile in certain parts of India. In the villages of Punjab, the NRI is associated with great financial success and hence immense izzat, or honour, and their sons are often sought in matrimonial advertisements. But to other Indians, who are increasingly traveling themselves, the reception may be different. As one young Delhi professional told me, "you know middle class Indians have a different version of NRI. Rather than Non-Resident Indian, they say Non-Reliable Indian. They are the first to invest money if the interest rates are high, and the first to draw the money out if there is any trouble."22 Though an important source of revenue in certain parts of India, the figure of the NRI is often caricatured as a wealthy leisure-seeking creature, and in this statement we see a rare impression of the female NRI: "Blonde hair, Cartier watch, dripping with diamonds. They love popping pills and discussing trying to get in touch with some designer or other on the mobile" (Ramani and Vetticad, 1999). This impression of the female NRI is fuelled in part by the large numbers of NRIs who return to India during the months November to March, when the weather is pleasant, and families and friends gather for weddings, parties and shopping. Many designers of chic Indian fashion, jewelry and beauty products find that the business they do December 2 1 In Germany a similar requirement for Hi-tech workers has led the government to approve a "green card" plan similar to the USA in order to allow 20,000 temporary hi-tech workers into the country (Herman, 2000). The proposal has been subject to objection from both politicians and the members of the German public. Some politicians have been accused of playing on "xenophobic feelings, arguing that Germany will be overrun by immigrants from India" (Eggleston, 2000). While many German firms subcontract work to Indian companies in India, the opportunity to employ Indian workers temporarily within Germany itself is resisted through discourses of race and national exclusion. 2 2 Personal interview, Delhi 9th November 1999. 106 through February is greater than the remaining nine months of the year. Take for example a party I attended in the modernist city of Chandigarh. As I walked between servers carrying trays laden with western snacks and crystal glasses filled with generous shots of Chivas Regal, I enjoyed the ambience of the host's luxurious Chandigarh home, which, as with most properties in Chandigarh, was worth well over half a million Canadian dollars.23 As I wandered trough the crowd, I caught snippets of conversation, overwhelmingly the language of choice was Hinglish, a merge between Hindi and English often spoken with what appeared to me as a distinctly English upperclass accent. Many party guests were transnational actors, for example the Bains family from Seattle who own a successful travel agency business, or Raj, a young man with a Newcastle accent who was a captain in the Merchant Navy, and who spoke of the inexhaustibility of his pounds sterling salary once converted into Indian rupees. This event, in a fabulous house, with men and women drinking and mingling freely, gave me some idea of the wealth possessed by middle and upper-class Indians, and the global range some of the population enjoy. Ong's (1999) idea ofthe flexible citizen appears in this Indian example, as people with money to spend and global social circles to move in, discuss global educational opportunities and comment on how "livable New York City has become." This was just one of many occasions where I experienced a sense of India's dualism, and the city of Chandigarh seemed to symbolize that duality through its rapid transformation as its business sectors fill with computer training centres, private banks 2 3 The price of property in Chandigarh has increased substantially; this situation is similar across many of India's major urban centres. The yield from commercial property in Mumbai and Delhi for example was over 13% in 1999 (Vasu, 2000). 107 and immigration consultants, services directed at increasingly globally mobile consumers.24 The impression of wealth I experienced in Chandigarh was not only evident in the NRIs I met, but with resident Indians whose wealth accorded them global mobility. In a conversation with Meena Brar,25 a recent immigrant to Vancouver who also maintains a house and business in Patiala, Punjab, it became clear that returning Indo-Canadians; Punjabis from rural backgrounds, are still viewed by wealthy Indians as rather uncouth and village oriented. Meena referred to one Indo-Canadian woman she spoke to on the plane from London to Vancouver, who told her how she felt 'out of place' at a party in Ludhiana, because all the Punjabis there were so rich and sophisticated. Meena explained that many Punjabis in Vancouver originally came from the villages, and now when they go back to Punjab, the urban monied -Punjabis can tell they are from Vancouver because they use "odd language" and exhibit "coarse" behaviour rooted in rural village norms and customs. Meena also indicated that the clothes and jewelry worn by typical Vancouver Punjabi women was much more ostentatious than those worn by the monied class in Punjab. Shopkeepers in Punjab know this, and when NRIs visit, especially from Canada, they deliberately show them the most excessive clothes and jewelry on hand. In addition to Meena's comments, her sons mentioned their surprise at the strength of the regional Doaba identification held by Punjabi immigrants in Vancouver. Meena's husband also 2 4 Simultaneously however, another Chandigarh is being formed, as the edges of the city are filled with instant ramshackle shelters for those who flock from the neighbouring poverty-stricken states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Here, as with most large metropolitan areas, the extremes of wealth and poverty align through the micro geographies of streets and neighborhoods, and as sections of Punjab's population seek international mobility, other, much poorer regions of the country become the sources of internal migrants who forge a renewed existence in Punjab. 2 5 Pseudonym. Meena Brar and her family came to Canada as independent immigrants; they retain a house and business in Patiala in the Malwa region of Punjab. Patiala is renowned for its connections to the Maharaja of Patiala, and is a fairly 'sophisticated' city. 108 felt uncomfortable with the transition from Patiala—where his social circle included people connected to the Maharaja and upper-middle class educated wealthy families—to Vancouver where his social circle included relatively uneducated labouring classes. This brief illustration reveals a distinctly classed and regionalized Indian immigrant identity evident in Vancouver. In the following section I will consider how the Canadian state has managed this process through its immigration policy. Indian Migration and the Canadian State In the centre of Punjab, close to the industrial town of Phagwara lies the small village of Palahi. Here I was shown a rather forlorn looking building that used to be the village dispensary. Outside the main door there was a white marble plaque, and though some of the black lettering had faded, the inscription read: "The foundation stone of this Canadian Hospital was laid by Miss [first name illegible] Armstrong, Second Secretary Canadian High Commission in India on 26th October 1960." The fact that in October of 1960, a Miss Armstrong of the Canadian High Commission in India—not the top officer but a rank of some significance—would undertake a journey that would be far more difficult than the six hour train journey of today, is intriguing. Whilst it clearly shows the historical significance of community connections between Punjab and Canada, it also reveals how the idea of Canada is inserted into the everyday spaces and imagination of rural Punjabis. This fusion of distinct localities has arisen as a result of the long tradition of migration between the two regions. 109 Indian immigration to Canada: History and General Patterns Whilst Canada's relationship with India might be grounded in the "people-to-people" dimension, those people have not always had a straightforward route into Canada. Even after Indian independence in 1947 and the introduction of the first Canadian Citizenship Act, the immigration system was still favourable to white Europeans from the commonwealth. The Immigration Act of 1953 strengthened this bias, granting clear preferential support to white immigrants. It was not until 1967 that immigration policy eliminated discrimination based on race, religion or national origin, moving instead towards a points system based on qualifications. South Asian immigrant numbers changed only slightly throughout the 1960s, as Figure 3.2 illustrates, due in part to institutional impediments—there was only one immigration office for the whole of India, compared to six in the UK (Sampat-Mehta, 1984). Towards the late 1960s and early 1970s the increased numbers of Indian professional immigrants reflected policy changes, and in 1978 the current Immigrant Act was proclaimed, which set yearly targets linked to economic conditions. If we look at more contemporary immigration patterns in the 1990s, (figure 3.3) the metropolitan bias of international migration to Canada is clear, with over 70% of immigrant arrivals in Canada making either Toronto (42%), Vancouver (17%), or Montreal (12%), their point of destination (Canada, 1999), and seventy-five percent of immigrants to British Columbia choosing to locate in Vancouver. 110 Immigration Policy and the Canadian State Early attempts at dominion nationalism under Prime Minister Laurier were directly aimed at preventing Indian immigration. Drawn to British Columbia in the late nineteenth, and early twentieth century, male Indian immigrants, predominately Jat Sikhs from Punjab, found work in the province's resource industries. Facing the general anti-Asian backlash of the time, Sikh immigrants remained isolated and marginalized by both government and labour interests (Ward, 1987; Jensen, 1988; Walton-Roberts, 1998). Their story of establishment in the province of British Columbia is one of denial and exclusion, illustrated most obviously by the 1908 continuous passage Order-in-Council. The continuous passage decision denied Indian immigrants the right to land in Canada unless they arrive through continuous passage—a feat made impossible by the Canadian Government's active prevention of the only possible direct marine routing between India and Canada. This ruling was enforced despite the fact that Indians were technically already citizens of the Empire. Gurdit Singh, a Sikh businessman from Punjab, challenged the Order-in-Council by chartering a boat and transporting 376 Punjabis, mostly Sikhs, to Vancouver in May of 1914. The boat, The Komagata Maru, and most of its passengers, were denied the right to land, forced to remain anchored for two months in Burrard Inlet, and eventually escorted out of the area under federal military control. The events surrounding the Komagata Maru are too complex to review here, but the incident signals the establishment of a series of important connections between the Pacific North 114 West and British colonial authorities in India (Fraser, 1978; Johnston, 1988)/° The Canadian Government's demands to prohibit Indian immigrants from landing in Canada were resisted by the British government, since Indians were deemed subjects of Queen Victoria. The British were particularly concerned because most migrants were Sikhs, who were of significant military importance to the British in India (Fraser, 1978). Despite the objections raised by the British, the implementation of restrictive immigration laws against South Asians continued until the mid-twentieth century, and can be seen as an important component of Canadian nationalism (Mongia, 1999). One hundred years later immigration policy in Canada has undergone significant changes, but it is still promoted as a vital component of Canada's ongoing national development. In an age of free trade agreements and globalized investment regimes, immigration is one of the few arenas remaining where the state can exercise its sovereign right to control entry at the scale of the body. In line with this control, the Canadian government is currently considering a 'New Immigration and Refugee Protection Act', Bill CI 1. In British Columbia both Liberal and Alliance MPs have utilized the same rhetoric with regard to this bill: "Closing the back door / opening the front door wider". This is the subheading former Federal Liberal MP Ted McWhinney used to present his position on the act to his Vancouver-Quadra constituents. Liberal members of Parliament including Herb Dhaliwal, Hedy Fry and Sophia Leung have spread the same message. "Closing the Back Door" equals the prevention of abuses to the system, and "Opening the front Door Wider", allows for ongoing immigration to contribute to Canada's 2 6 The Ghadr party is an important example of this, formed by Indians overseas to pressure the British out of India, it promoted an active violent rebellion as opposed to Gandhi's pacifist movement (see Brown, 1982). 2 7 The Bill was introduced to the house in February 2001. 115 development. Their joint constituent newsletter contains three times as much detail regarding plans to "close the back door"28 as it reveals about their ideas for "opening the front door wider".29 This metaphor of the house is surprisingly uniform across the political spectrum, as evidenced in the 1998 comments of a Reform (now Alliance) MP: [T]he immigration system is just like a house, where the front doors are comparatively closed, but the back doors are open. People can abuse our immigration system very easily, because it is susceptible to being abused. I think what should happen is we should monitor the front doors, and open them a little bit, but close the back doors, -in ventilators and windows. The metaphor of the house is interesting for its representations of a hermetically sealed space, which in an age of increased transnational flows—not least of which is composed of people—appears overly simplistic. This metaphor of the "house" provides a strong example of Hage's critical reflections of who can "belong" within the nation. In his thought-provoking book on Australian Multiculturalism, White Nation, Ghassan Hage (1998) argues that the forms of everyday racism are more usefully interpreted through the ideas of nationality rather than race. Exercising control over territory is, for Hage, the major explanation for actions of the state and society in denying, excluding and otherwise marginalizing the ethnic 'other' which are most commonly revealed through debates on immigration control. Hage interprets this discourse of control—often fuelled by 2 8 For example $584 million has been earmarked for the R C M P over the next three years to combat human smugglers and to protect Canada's borders. 2 9 "The New Immigration and refugee Protection Act", newsletter sent to constituents in the summer of 2000, no date. 3 0 Personal interview November 1998. 31 If the 'back door' refers to the immigration and the refugee assessment process, then this is not a 'back door' to the actual territorial space of Canada, but a means to achieve recognition as a rightful member of that society. Controlling the actual territorial space of the nation, the communities, homes, and workplaces across Canada requires more gatekeepers and more surveillance. For a system of surveillance to operate within a space so integrated into global movements of trade, tourism and exchange, those deemed the most likely violators—often 'third world' subjects—will be marked, leading to a deeply racialized system of state surveillance. 116 academics with a penchant for numbering and monitoring movements—as evidence that multiculturalism in Australia is about numbering otherness and maximizing its value, while simultaneously maintaining the naturalization of whiteness. Hage's ideas appear highly applicable to Canada, but the importance of context must be stressed. Though both Australian and Canadian histories were formed through the colonial exclusion and persecution of indigenous groups, Canada also has to deal with the uncertainties of nationhood continually shaped by both an Anglophone and Francophone presence. Harris (2001) has argued that these challenges shape Canada into a space whose national identity has been formed in light of competing identities and persistent cultural difference. It was onto this history of First Nations, then French and English settlement, that the policy of multiculturalism was introduced. Despite the complexities of Canadian nationalism, the Canadian state does direct significant attention to monitoring and attempting to control immigration. In the case of India, the intimate connections and the historical traditions of movement between the two regions pose some important challenges for the Canadian state in its efforts to control such flows. Managing flows, or "getting the mix right" Within the context of the current immigration policy, it is possible to argue that other than validating family relationships are bona fide, CIC has little control over the geography of Indian immigrantion, since the intense regional concentration of this migration pattern creates networks that possess internal momentum and continuity, constraining CIC's ability to "get the mix right". Nonetheless, CIC's Mission Statement 117 certainly exhibits some of the motivations Hage highlights, such as management, territorial control and extracting immigrant 'value'. CIC's Mission; To build a stronger Canada by: deriving maximum benefit from the global movement of people; protecting refugees at home and abroad; defining membership in Canadian society; and managing access to Canada32 CIC is the department controlling both the selection of immigrants and refugees as well as the granting of citizenship. The department has 4,284 employees in Canada and overseas, as well as 982 locally engaged staff. There are 70 missions abroad: 15 in the Asia and Pacific region (including 3 in China), 10 in Europe, 23 in Africa and the Middle East, and 22 in the Western Hemisphere (including 6 in the USA).3 4 These consular offices are sites rich with meaning, where the workings of the state as a collection of bureaucratic transnational actors negotiate the uneven terrain of policy. In order to examine this in more detail, I consider how officials in the Canadian High Commission in Delhi process visitor applications, as well as the methods of resistance applicants introduce to the process. 3 2 CIC department information, CIC's Mission, 3 3 Canada became a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention and the 1967 Protocol in 1969. The Convention relates to the Status of Refugees. This document defines a refugee as a person, who "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return, avail himself of the protection of that country." [sic] (p. 51). Countries that sign this 1951 Convention promise not to return refugees to any territory where they might face persecution—non-refoulment in diplomatic parlance. As of 1997, some 134 countries have signed the 1951 Convention or the 1967 Protocol (UNHCR, 1997). 3 4 The department is headed by a federal cabinet minister, and is divided up into four sections, policy and program development, operations, corporate services and attorney general (responsible for legal services), The policy and program development section drafts policy for each area of immigration, including enforcement as well as settlement issues, but the operations section oversees the actual application process and the practices of measuring, monitoring and evaluating immigrants in their attempts to enter Canada (CIC Canada web page, CIC Backgrounder, 118 Micro state practices: Visitor visas and mobility The consular office, the front line of CIC operations, is an important site for understanding political processes shaping human mobility, especially for subjects from 'third world' contexts. This interaction has typically been experienced as a site of asymmetrical power relations where issues of race and class heavily influence the treatment one receives. The obvious power imbalances and the possible discriminations linked to visa issuance has become a prominent issue for immigrant advocacy groups. The first resolution of the 2000 Global Convention of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), held in Zurich, was on "Adoption and Promulgation of Guidelines to Preserve Human Dignity in Visa Application Procedures."35 The resolution calls upon the United Nations to establish broad guidelines for foreign embassies in the process of visa issuance, such as assuring the comfort of the applicant while waiting, and attempts to allow visas to be granted by mail to avoid the need for personal appearances. The final point of the resolution demands that the "diplomatic mission must make every effort to act in a manner that purges the impression of irrationality and adhocism in the visa application procedure" (GOPIO 2000 Resolution 1: Point 11). GOPIO's demands expose the concern Indians harbour regarding their treatment at consular offices and the anticipations they bring to such meetings with state officials. Indian citizens, together with those from over 130 mostly developing nations, are required to secure a visitor visa in order to visit or transit Canada. In order to secure a visitor visa an Indian national must attend an interview in person at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi. The Canadian High Commission in Delhi is set back from the wide grassy boulevards of Shantipath, offering a haven from the chaotic streets of the overwhelming 3 5 GOPIO summary of the GOPIO 2000 convention, 119 metropolis. The embassy district presents itself immediately as a classed and privileged space, where even dogs—unlike the mangy parasite infected city canines—are well groomed and walked on leashes by embassy-employed houseboys. This area is the home of most embassies in the city, where space is transformed into dozens of micro borders controlled against the crowds of Indian nationals who line-up against high well-patrolled fences: a physical demonstration of the everyday struggle of global migrants against the borders of state sovereignty. The Canadian High Commission enclosure toward the middle of Shantipath has at least five gates, each of which is guarded. The entrance for those people attending interviews for visitor visas is marked by the use of metal gates to maintain the early morning queue in an orderly fashion, and booths with glass windows, behind which locally-engaged staff offer tokens to the first 250 people in line. Those people lucky enough to be issued with tokens go through to a large waiting room inside the building, where they wait to attend an interview. Visitor visa interviews only take place four mornings a week, and queues gather in the early hours as people often arrive the night before and sleep on the pavement outside. Immigration officials are entrusted with the responsibility of deciding whether the individual interviewed presents a flight risk if she or he were given permission to visit Canada. The personal interview is an essential part of the assessment process, and the information applicants are normally supposed to provide allows the visa officer to ascertain that: a) they have a genuine reason to visit Canada; b) they own property in India, or have sufficient funds in the bank to prove they 3 6 The lack of shelter, water and facilities has been a contentious issue for some time. Germant Grewal and other Members of Parliament have complained vigorously, but the head of immigration at Delhi argues that the land outside the High Commission is owned by the city, and Delhi authorities are unwilling to develop any facilities. While a water pipe was installed, local people in the area used it for their daily water supply which led to its withdrawal. 120 will return and; c) they have a job that they will be returning to. High Commission figures show that up to a third of applicants each year are refused visitor visas. Non-immigrant visitor visa applications received Visitor visas issued Percent of applications declined 1995 25,512 19,413 23.9% 1996 31,765 23,343 26.5 % 1997 33,314 23,726 28.8 % 1998 36,164 25,406 29.8 % 1999 37,468 25,920 30.8 % Table 3.3: Visitor Visa Processing at New Delhi CIC Offices, data from CIC office manager, Delhi High Commission. December 1999. It is common practice for Citizenship and Immigration to screen applicants from developing countries in order to identify potential 'flight' cases.38 Immigration officials estimate that Indian nationals are in the top three or four of undocumented arrivals in Canada, and they use this information to justify their rigid approach to visa processing. This rigidity, borne of suspicion, was clearly displayed during a High Commission social event I attended in December1999. "The Club Canada Players", a social group composed of immigration staff from the Canadian High Commission, put on a pantomime called Cinderellaji. The performance was a public fundraising event held adjacent to the bar and swimming pool of the High Commission's social club area. The cast was made up of a variety of CIC officers, and the audience was mostly CIC's Canadian staff, families and friends, none were of Indian origin. One song in particular, sung to the tune of "tie a yellow ribbon " was a cynical presentation of the significant demand for Canadian visas. 3 7 It seems unlikely that many people are aware ofthe need for this information. The actual visa application form does not stipulate the need for this information, and one man I spoke to - a Canadian waiting outside for his cousin - was not aware of the need for these documents when I asked him about them. 3 8 Several Immigrant advocate groups, and Donald Cameron, an immigration consultant who previously was consul general in Seattle, have been highly critical of this practice (CBC radio July 8 t h 1999). 121 I stood in line, got token five Now, I've got to show that jerk I'm bonafide If he believes my story, which consists of mostly lies Then he'll know just what to do Let me book my flight Leave this place tonight.... Put a student visa in my passport please I spent 14 Lakh39 on these fake degrees If I don't get a visa with these fake degrees I'll stay in the Punjab Forget about Toronto And blame it on CIC If I don't get a visa with my fake degrees Put a goddam visa in my passport please It's been 6 long hours since I paid my fees If I don't get my visa telling me I'll soon be free I'll write to my M.P. I'll file an appeal And try a little bribery... If I don't get a visa with my fake degrees The lyrics of this song reflect the extent to which potential migrants are already embedded in transnational circuits, in particular the reference, "I'll write to my M.P. I'll file an appeal", assumes the potential migrant has channels of access to Canadian forms of representation, which many will undoubtedly have through family contacts. These lyrics are a demonstration of the extent to which Indo-Canadians use their Canadian citizenship rights and extend them to other nationals, and the degree to which CIC officials are aware of this connection. I was initially shocked with the nature of this song; for the unequivocal stereotyping of Indian visa applicants as liars, cheats and potential fraudsters implies an entrenched bias held by many CIC officials, despite the personal commitment some officials voiced to an immigration system based on fairness and equality. It indicates the importance of understanding policy implementation within a About $50,000 Canadian dollars 122 social context where negative processes of stereotyping based upon racializing and criminalizing discourses produce geographies of exclusion (Sibley, 1995). However, in many discussions I had with Punjabis and Indian officials, they agreed that attempts to circumvent foreign state regulations regarding visa applications were widespread, and, as with this example, most treated it in a humorous fashion. In particular many officials commented on the nature of the Indian bureaucracy—where official forms and certificates are impossible to verify, yet easy to manipulate—together with the huge demand for immigration overseas, and the intricate knowledge people have of opportunities abroad, all conspire to make the job of verifying applications an almost impossible task. In light of this, it is not difficult to understand why officials might choose to treat all applicants with distrust and suspicion. These restrictions however highlight the preconceived ideas officials' hold with reference to Indian nationals, explaining the limitations on mobility that the vast majority of Indian citizens face, and the genuine concern groups such as GOPIO express with regard to the lack of fair treatment Indian nationals face in foreign embassies. While it might be understandable that general suspicion rules decisions regarding visa issuance, a corollary to such limitations is that a number of alternatives to state sanctioned mobility have emerged, which state officials find almost impossible to monitor, never mind control. Conclusion The almost 14 million people of Indian origin overseas represent a hugely diverse population settled across a geographically extensive area. Though representing diverse 123 class, caste and regional backgrounds, immigrants maintain connections back to India, socially, politically and financially. This bond with India contributes significantly to India's economic and social development, as well as shaping an increasingly global form of Indianness not onto logically rooted in Indian sovereign territory. Once we focus in more detail on the nature of immigration between specific locations, the particularities of immigration flows reveal important social and spatial components. The pattern of hnmigration from India to Canada indicates a tight regional bias focused on Punjab, and the composition of immigration illustrates its social basis, in that family class migratory networks have been the fundamental shapers of these circulations. Though skilled and professional immigrants from India are increasingly entering Canada, the regional bias is still evident in this class of immigrant, and it is yet to be seen if their numerical presence will displace the family class. I have drawn attention to the ongoing centrality of immigration policy in the discourse of Canadian nationalism, but also stressed the role of the Canadian state in policing human mobility from 'third world' sites and the importance of understanding how such policies may be translated by bureaucrats through processes of racialization and stereotypical assumption. I have also indicated how potential immigrants can challenge CIC through their families in Canada, indicating the effective transnational use of Canadian citizenship. In the following chapter I delve into citizenship in more detail, paying particular attention to ways in which the Canadian state's administration of immigration policy is altered by the presence and effectiveness of dense, regular and rapid (i.e. transnational), immigrant networks. 124 CHAPTER FOUR IMMIGRATION, THE STATE AND CITIZENSHIP Immigration from India to Canada is marked by the dominance of mobility activated through the family class of Canada's immigration policy. This suggests the production and maintenance of a transnational social field where intimate cultural factors shape transmissions in a recursive manner.1 In this chapter I develop this claim by presenting examples of how processes of immigration regulation and control are subjected to various transnational responses and strategies through which Indo-Canadians and Indian migrants interact with the Canadian state. The first considers undocumented migration, the second interprets the increased power of the immigration consultant, and the third considers how democratic pressures mobilized within Canada have increased the density of immigrant networks based in Punjab and the political importance of Punjab's links with Canada. These examples will reveal the increasing sophistication with which individuals and immigrant groups use the Canadian democratic system to interrogate aspects of state regulation. Throughout this chapter three themes will structure the discussion. Firstly, the notion of nation-states as distinct separate entities is challenged by the interactions transnational subjects introduce. Secondly, despite the challenge these interactions introduce to concepts of national separateness, transnational immigrants are participants in national processes through the exercise of citizenship. Thirdly, I argue that this citizenship participation by transnational subjects cannot be adequately represented 1 The strong tradition of marriage between India and Canada and the cultural norms for the reconstitution of family, parents, and siblings, within Canada, is an important aspect of Indian immigration. This will be considered in more detail in Chapter Nine. 125 through the idea of transnationalism from above or below. Citizenship and the State Sovereignty, exclusive territory and citizenship mark the specificity of the nation state, and immigration has played a central role in the creation of the Canadian nation-state. Mongia (1999) effectively demonstrates how the formation of a Canadian nation distinct from the British Empire was rooted in the desire to deny the entry of Indian immigrants into Canada. The complexities of the colonial relations Canada was embedded within made their exclusion of Indians—subjects of the Empire—problematic, but was eventually overcome with the introduction of passports for all free Indian migrants in 1915. This introduced a pseudo-universality that disguised both the Canadian Government's blatant racism, and the British Colonial authorities desire to prevent the unraveling of Empire due to the obvious differential treatment of subjects along racialized lines. This intersection of territorial space and racial difference leads Mongia to use the term nation-race: The emergence of the nation-state as the first state formation to exercise a monopoly over migration indicates not that control over mobility begins after the formation of the nation-state but that the very development ofthe nation-state occurs, in part, to control mobility along the axes of the nation-race (p.554). Race and immigration are still critical elements in the exercise of sovereignty. Saskia Sassen (1996) contrasts what she interprets as two tensions brought into focus especially through immigration debates: one of denationalizing economic space and the other a renationalizing of political discourse. 126 The existence of two different regimes for the circulation of capital and the circulation of immigrants, as well as two equally different regimes for the protection of human rights and the protection of state sovereignty, pose problems that cannot be solved by the rules of the game. It is in this sense that immigration is a strategic site to inquire about the limits of the new order: it feeds the renationalization of politics and the notion of the importance of sovereign control over borders, yet it is embedded in a larger dynamic of transnationalization of economic spaces and human rights regimes (Introduction, xvi). The 'new order' Sassen refers to is grounded in the ascendance of the global economy, but rather than see the global economy and the state as mutually exclusive, she maintains that global processes originate in the space of the nation state, and that "the state itself has been a key agent in the implementation of global processes" and as a result "sovereignty has been decentered and territory partly denationalized" (p.28). The social sciences, Sassen argues, need to reconsider their analytical investigation of the nation-state as the container of social, political and economic processes, and it is immigration where tensions over changes in state sovereign power are most visibility displayed. Immigration, once easily controlled from within the legal frameworks of the sovereign state, is now being monitored by international human rights organizations and populations whose own immigrant backgrounds make them highly vocal contributors to issues of policy. "Immigration is thus a sort of wrench one can throw into theories about sovereignty" (Sassen, 1996, p.63) and debates over citizenship mark this complex union between the immigrant and their membership to a sovereign state. In the case of India and Canada, the strength of its "people - to - people links", together with both nations' incorporation into global economic processes, has redefined aspects of their sovereignty. 2 Sassen develops a concept of "economic citizenship", which in addition to the social rights attached to the welfare state, includes a series of individual rights to employment and economic well-being. She considers the potential for global economic bodies such as the World Trade Organization to promote this public interest, but this notion rests upon a unproblematic conflation of democracy and human rights with a free market ideology. 127 It is through this interface of immigration, citizenship and the state, that I frame this chapter. The effect of large-scale international immigration from non-European sources has had a particular impact on conceptualizations of citizenship, and has become a major topic of interest for researchers and policy makers alike (Bloemraad, 2000). As international immigration increases, resulting in a highly diverse population both ethnically and politically, the assumptions regarding citizenship—what it is, how it operates and how it intersects with the construction of a national identity—have been questioned. In India the central state is keen to benefit from the immense resources their overseas population offers, and balances its need for sovereign integrity against the demands of a globalized population who seek incorporation into a spatially heterogeneous, but culturally homogenous community. This right to incorporation is not without tension, and the idea of dual nationality is highly contentious in India, where national chauvinistic pride is combined with unease regarding the potential for economic subordination. This concern over national identity is also rooted in an almost psychological anxiety, where the integrity and protection of the nation is seen as threatened by increasing diversity, be it economic or ethnic. In reaction to this presumed threat, Canadian discourses of national strength have been built out of the reality of ethnic diversity in order to construct national coherence. For Canada, multiculturalism has provided the glue to protect the nation from centripetal forces of ethnic difference created both through international migration and Quebecois claims for separation. Multiculturalism has been seen as an effective way for the state and its diverse population to cohere; "Multiculturalism policy, and the web of cultural relations that it engenders, is 128 an important and effective means of mediation, and ties Canadian government to popular interests in ways seldom achieved in other countries" (Kobayashi, 1993, p.224). The success Kobayashi accrues to multiculturalism depends upon the active participation of immigrants in citizenship practices, whether constituted institutionally (Soysal, 1994) culturally (Joseph, 1999), or materially (Mitchell, 1993). Bloemraad (2000) argues that of the four dimensions of citizenship - legal status, rights, identity and participation— participation is a vital concept for considering the interaction between individual immigrants and the socio-political community that grants membership. Citizenship participation has tended to be interpreted through the restricted channels of political voting and campaigning. In this chapter I consider forms of citizenship participation practiced by Indo-Canadians that, while highly political, have not been considered in the literature. These practices simultaneously configure transnational circulations and local community development. Transnationalism F r o m Above or Below? The intersection of citizenship participation and transnationalism is a fertile area of inquiry that considers the interface between the immigrant individual and the state. Interaction with state actors or global elites has often been represented in the literature as either transnationalism from 'above' or 'below', although rarely is this binary explicitly identified (Mahler, 1998). Transnationalism from above relates to the hegemonic power of global elites and organizations that seek to exert greater power and influence over political, economic and cultural forms globally. Transnationalism from below is seen to 129 represent counter-hegemonic social spaces across two or more nations, which are "grounded in the daily lives, activities, and social relationships of quotidian actors" (Glick Schiller, Basch and Szanton-Blanc 1992, p.5). Mahler (1998) argues that this bipolar, hierarchical structure imposed on transnational practices is too rigid, and may marginalize certain transnational practices and actors. Mahler highlights, "the difficulty and artificiality of distinguishing between transnationalisms for they, indeed, are interrelated" (1998 p. 72). Mahler argues that transnational practices and social fields should be investigated critically, and within their relative contexts, before allowing subaltern and transformative agency to dominate our explanations of migrant activity across home and host states. This challenge encourages us to seek the points where there are interconnections, complications, contradictions and surprises, and these often involve the state in intricate ways. Others, such as Portes (1997) have recognized the ability of immigrant groups to use the same advantages that states and corporations drawn upon: The economic activities that sustain these communities are grounded precisely on the differentials of advantage created by state boundaries. In this respect they are no different from the large global corporations, except that these enterprises emerge at the grassroots level and its [sic] activities are often informal (4). Although the movement of immigrants is indeed influenced by differentials in wage rates, it is too restrictive to divide transnational practices into the levels of the grassroots and the elite. These simplistic dualisms of above and below, masks the complicities and contradictions that necessarily involve states, global elites and grass-roots groups. Besides, the very notion of transnational practices involves traversing a number of scales and social locations, in that migrating bodies have to move around, or through, the state and its surveillance apparatus, often transforming and reshaping their social location in 130 the process. Charting movements between and across these spaces and scales demands a more flexible and encompassing framework in order to allow the researcher to capture and expose the multiple avenues through which transnational articulations are formed. I illustrate this argument through three examples, the first of which is a consideration of undocumented migration, an action most often considered a grassroots, grounded form of political subversion against the hegemonic structures of the state. Transnational Responses and Strategies I: Negotiating Around the State The immense will and desire for international mobility makes undocumented migration a process open to multiple forms of agency and determination that challenge the state to control and monitor its boundaries. As an immigrant to Canada I understand the desire with which one longs to be included and recognized within a nation. Though privileged in my position as a white subject from a developed country with colonial linkages to Canada, I nevertheless appreciate the determination to feel the right to belong in a place, and the desire to contribute and prove my worth. In the case of India, the condition of society, environment and political structures make this desire palpable in the faces, voices and emotions of those who seek entrance to Canada. Such strong emotions elicit strong reactions, and for those who do not have the professional talents or appropriate networks to facilitate their formal entry into Canada, other options emerge. 131 Misrepresentation and Irregular Migration Hage (1998) interprets the unofficial and undocumented movement of migrants through the imaginary of the "caged ethnic", the illegal migrant that is treated harshly by the state in order to show how the state disciplines 'queue jumpers'. Caging the ethnic-undocumented migrant becomes a symbolic display of the power of the state's will to control its borders and discipline those that would flaunt its power to control. Hage's illustration of this process as a battle of wills is important because it reveals the place of agency. Rather than suggest that the structures of national apparatus control from afar, he suggests that the battle is an embodied and direct one. His argument, however, depends upon the idea of a strong state able to 'cage' those who flaunt its rules and therefore demonstrate its actual power. How does the Canadian state exercise its will in opposition to those who attempt to advance their own? Throughout Punjab people have stories about the kabootan-bazi: the "pigeon that flies away". There are a number of routes available, from opportunistic impersonations of friends or extended family members with Canadian passports, the use of stolen passports, or the use of 'travel agents', who for a fee provide forged visas for travel overseas. In my conversations with immigration officials and people in villages and towns across Doaba, there was much discussion about irregular immigrant movements. Moving through political space without the correct documentation is itself a political act; it makes a statement about individual desires and demand for freedom. In Punjab it was common 3 Newspaper reports regarding agents caught and charged indicate the cost of buying visas is in excess of 2.5 lakh (close to $9,000 Canadian), and often the process involves printing operations overseas (especially Bangkok), as well as skilled forgers altering stolen passports within India (Sunday Punjab Punjab Tribune, 2000a). 132 knowledge that many people go abroad without the required documentation, and often there was a general acceptance of such practices. Immigration departments demand documentation in order to regulate and control immigration; the passport for example, is representative of the exclusivity of state territory. In India, however, the creation of official documents is often open to manipulation, and during a number of discussions with Punjabis regarding immigration matters, they commented on such irregularities. During an interview with a village school headmaster, he related the case of two boys in his school who applied for visitor visas, were declined, and then changed their names and reapplied, this time securing visas.4 In other conversations individuals laughed about the lengths people would go to secure visas, even offering prayers at the Gurdwara in order that they might have guidance from God to present the right (but incorrect) stories to visa officials during their mandatory interviews. There were several stories related to me about misrepresentation. In general, people seemed to tolerate any attempts, as long as they were made in order to travel overseas for work, or to be with other family members. Tolerance even extended to instances where marriages were arranged between a brother and sister, or between close relatives—despite social norms that would castigate such actions—as long as the marriage was purely to facilitate immigration.5 Other common examples relayed to me included sports teams embarking on Canadian tours, where only the captain returns to India, or business trips organized by legitimate business groups, but where individual members sell off their visas to people intending to remain in Canada, and Punjabi musicians and artists on cultural tours where no-one returns (Bolan, 2001b). Widespread 4 Personal interview 24th January 2000. 5 My thanks to Professor Bhupinder Singh of the Sociology Department, Punjabi University Patiala, for sharing this information. 133 community tolerance for this type of action appeared to stem from the experiences of a large number of genuine visitor visa applicants who have been refused the right to travel to Canada, and become immensely frustrated at the seemingly insurmountable limitations placed upon their mobility. In reacting to these practices, Canadian officials often work at the village level. Because Indian immigration to Canada is so tightly geographically focused, it allows immigration officials to routinely visit Doaba to investigate irregularities reported to them.6 The New Delhi office has one such dedicated Immigration Control Officer, who routinely investigates suspicious cases presented to him by officers both in India and Canada.7 In the villages the officer and his assistants speak to neighhbours, school principals, and police officers and ask questions about individual applicants, their age, marriage and family relations, etc. The Canadian Immigration Control officer advised me that most people in the villages are willing to speak to him and his assistants, providing various information, such as whether a person was married before they left for Canada with their parents.8 If they find information that contradicts the original application, they take statements from the public to support their decision to reject the case.9 The collection of such personal data from police and other officials would not be possible in Canada, where privacy laws protect official information. This raises an interesting example of how Canadian officials can exploit uneven legal controls across a 6 Because Britain and Canada have similar immigrant populations from the Doaba region, the two embassies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and often share duties regarding interdiction, or the prevention of improperly documented arrivals (IDA's) finding their way abroad. Whereas the British Embassy has a Airport Liaison Officer, the Canadian High Commission has an Immigration Control Officer. The Canadian officer makes regular visits to Punjab, as well as to the Delhi Airport. 7 Together with one or two local employees, the group will stay in Jalandhar or Ludhiana and travel out from these areas usually covering 2,000 kilometers on each trip. 8 Interview with immigration control officer, Delhi, 23 r d February 2000. 9 If the case relates to a person already in Canada, they can try to overturn the visa, but it is a long process subject to appeal and legal dispute, and is usually unsuccessful. 134 transnational space in order to secure evidence to deny applicants, since such options are highly limited if enacted within Canadian jurisdictions. The idea of the hegemonic abstract state enforcing its power on the individual is also challenged by that fact that immigration officials are often informed about suspicious applications through "poison pen letters". In many cases informants are family members of the prospective immigrant, who plead not to be identified.10 One officer estimated that roughly seventy percent of letters have some proven basis. The officer showed me two examples of letters sent within India, which revealed irregularities in specific immigration applications. One signed letter informed the immigration department of an outstanding criminal charge for gold smuggling against a man whose son in Canada was about to sponsor his application for immigration. Another anonymous letter detailed an individual who was sponsoring his mother and father and two sisters. The two sisters, the letter revealed, were not his real sisters; one of them was his uncle's (mamaji's) daughter. The letter detailed where officials could access the original birth certificates - an important fact since there are so many registration offices in India. The letter also indicated the dates they planned to return to Canada.11 These letters form an important tool for immigration officers in determining cases of misrepresentation, and encourage us to ponder issues of identity at the scale of the family and the nation. Firstly, this example highlights how the Punjabi interpretation of the family unit is much more expansive and flexible than the western idea of an immediate, biological 1 0 The letters are mailed to CIC offices in both Canada and India at the rate of approximately five a day. 60 percent are signed, 40 percent are anonymous. 1 1 One letter recalled by the immigration officer and written by an Indo-Canadian, was explicit about the manner in which the whole system was being abused, stating that "the smiles in the wedding photos were not out of happiness, but because everyone was laughing at how easy it was to get a Canadian visa". 135 predefined nuclear family.12 Indeed, through my discussions with individuals across Doaba, the desire to reestablish the extended family overseas was seen as a perfectly reasonable motivation for many applicants to offer misrepresentations through the family class immigration process, and as such was not seen as a serious violation against Canada's national interest, merely a legitimate process to achieve the more important goal of reconstituting family across a spatially distended field. The attachment to family and issues of status and jealously, may also propel some individuals to use any means to prevent others from taking advantage of the system to the benefit of their own family. Secondly, these instances of internal community discipline raise the issue of people's own nationalisms, be they Indians or Canadians, and the resentment they may feel towards those whose actions they interpret as undermining national integrity. In this way immigrant identification with the nation might not be a "post national" experience, but an emotional attachment very much at ease with traditional notions of state sovereignty. These examples challenge Hage's image of the state "caging the ethnic", since the state is not the only actor in the process of disciplining those who would defy sovereign control. These examples also reveal the very personalized means through which state processes of exclusion are enacted, both through immigration officials operating at the local level, and through the involvement of the subject population. It also complicates the idea of irregular or undocumented migration being directed from the grassroots 'below', against the state 'above', since the state is assisted in its action against 1 2 The Punjabi language has many specific words for particular members of the family, such as brother's son, bhatija, or sister's son, bhanja, or daughter's daughter, dohti, or son's daughterpoti. The specificity of kinship relations indicates the important structure ofthe extended family, but in addition to this, many people refer to non-relatives as sisters, brothers or aunties and uncles. This also denotes the expansive and flexible nature of family or family-like relations. For example many of the young children I came into contact with through their families would refer to me as "auntie". 136 such processes by information freely provided by 'community' members both in India and Canada. Regulating Human Traffic While operating at the level of the village allows Canadian immigration officials important direct access to relevant information, the exercise of state regulatory frameworks is also present at the site of airports. Here international agreements between airlines and governments enforce the need for passport control, and impose fines on those carriers who transport inadequately documented passengers across international borders. Other than the surveillance apparatus in place at transportation nodes, a surprisingly limited network physically represents the state. In Delhi for example, two officers—the Canadian Immigration Control Officer and the British Embassy's Airline Liaison Officer—are the only officials on hand for airline staff to call if they have some doubts about the validity of any international travel documents. As a result, these individuals are overburdened with the job of protecting multiple state borders. Since the mid-nineties CIC reports that the actions of Immigration Control Officers overseas has led to a steady increase in interceptions of improperly documented passengers overseas (CIC 1999a). CIC also collects financial security deposits from transportation companies as part of a program of fees and fines linked to the removal of improperly documented travelers transported into Canada. The Chicago Convention l j In the case of the British Airline Liaison Officer, this post was created six years ago, and the first Liaison Officer had to cover the whole ofthe Indian Subcontinent including Sri Lanka, but excluding Pakistan. Despite the huge coverage required, and the fact that the officer was always flying to different parts of the subcontinent to check on suspicious cases, the position was so successful it was expanded, and now India is the only country where Britain has two Airline Liaison Officers. Personal interview with the British Embassy's Airline Liaison officer, Delhi 24 February 2000. 137 ensures that carriers maintain air safety by securing that all travelers have proper documentation. Since 1987 this has been bolstered by the Air Carriers Liability Act, which holds airlines financially responsible for any improperly documented passengers transported.14 In the UK the fine per undocumented arrival is 2,000 pounds, and in Canada the amount charged is Cdn $4,000. Forty-five countries now have carrier legislation to impose such penalties. Despite the increasing sophistication of information sharing between foreign governments,15 both the British Airline Liaison Officer and the Canadian Immigration Control Officer were less than optimistic when asked how effective they were in controlling improperly documented movements. The British Officer felt that traffickers or agents were ruthless people who exploited individuals and were often supported in their work by police and other officials. At the receiving end in Britain, though he wanted to support the right of genuine refugees to make a claim, he felt that the system was being abused as over 80,000 asylum seekers were entering Britain each year, many of whom he suspected were moved by large, centrally organized criminal gangs who were becoming more sophisticated in their methods.16 The Canadian Immigration Officer at Delhi admitted that most charges are brought against individuals, and not against the "big fish". The individual often gets a quick conviction of maybe two months, but the source of the 1 4 The introduction of such penalties for airlines has made them particularly keen to train their staff in this area. Both the Canadian Immigration Control Officer and the British Airline Liaison Officer run training courses for airline staff, enabling them to recognize the difference between genuine and forged travel documents. 1 5 Canada has apparently had an international monitoring system for tracking irregular migrant movements for over 10 years, and has had an Immigration Control Officer network for 10 years with people who are experts with regard to document fraud. 1 6 A UN report in 1994 estimated payments from undocumented Mexican and Caribbean migrations at US$3.5 billion annually (Castells, 1998). Work in South Asia has also called for more attention to be directed at the trafficking of women and children (Johnston and Khan, 1998). 138 counterfeit documents is rarely found, and the officers have little success in breaking the larger rackets; this, he argued, was the responsibility of the Indian police. When we consider the actual practices of the state in the control of international population movements, the image is one of a series of small actions aimed at the individual's act of actually crossing the border. There is little sense of any overall control of those who orchestrate large-scale smuggling networks, thereby undermining what is deemed to be the state's sovereign right to control access across it borders. These examples contrast the micro-geographies of migrant movements against the image of the state as a separate territorial distinct unit; transgressions across borders are commonplace despite the state's efforts to police them. These examples also complicate the impression of transnationalism from above and below, because while some political acts like crossing borders may be seen as subversive grounded actions from below, they may also be intimately tied up with human smuggling networks composed of elite classes not so easily defined as transnational actors from below. Transnational Responses and Strategies II: Immigration Consultants Since the liberalization of Canada's immigration policy in the 1960s, and the increased migrations from non-European sources, the exclusionary relations Canada historically enforced with India have to some extent been ameliorated. In 1997 CIC launched a global promotional campaign for skilled migrants, and consultants emerged to meet the demand for intermediaries able to file successful applications.17 Although immigration consultants 1 7 In 1997 CIC ran a world wide promotional campaign to attract independent class applications, and CIC staff in Delhi were only just completing the processing of these applications two years later in 1999. This 139 prove important mediators between CIC and potential applicants, very little has been written on the topic. Hardie (1994) considers the impressive rise of migration advisers in late 1980s Hong Kong, and interprets their role in the migration decision-making process as a very active and persuasive one, where consultants 'coach' the migrant to present themselves not as sojourners, but as applicants desirous of long term settlement overseas. In effect, the consultant's efforts to make the applicant appear suitable to Canadian immigration officers actually resulted in creating a class of immigrants seen as exiles, when the immigrant's intention may actually have been to exploit certain flexible and temporary citizenship options as Ong (1999) argues. Consequentially, they should more accurately be portrayed as elite sojourners. I will focus on Indian immigration consultants in order to demonstrate how Canadian citizens of Indian origin are, from a transnational position, introducing a new balance of power into Canada's immigration system. The number of immigration consultants in India is rising, acting as important mediators in the demand for overseas immigration. The presence of such mediators is nowhere more clearly displayed than the streets of Chandigarh, where the pages of daily newspapers and shop fronts display the encouraging words of this growing sector of the Indian service economy. While in Chandigarh I interviewed two consultants specializing in Canadian immigration. Both were Canadian citizens of Indian origin who had set up Indian companies after providing assistance to community members in Canada. One company I visited was a small outfit with a mixed clientele—marriage, family, visitor visa as well as independent class applicants—and the manager had a number of complaints about CIC cohort of applications has contributed to a backlog, which translates into a minimum 24-month waiting period for independent applications through Delhi, (Personal interview with the CIC office manager, Canadian High Commission Delhi, 17* December 1999). 140 and their rejection of the applications he had forwarded to them. The other, World Wide Immigration Consultants (WWICS), was far more impressive in size and success, focusing more intently on skilled applicants and providing an immigration support infrastructure including offices throughout India, and an office in Mississauga Ontario, which dealt with client settlement and employment placement in Canada. WWICS role in the immigration process needs to be considered in more detail. Firstly for the potential they offer in concentrating immigration flows, and secondly as an illustration ofthe new transnational strategies of negotiation that intermediaries bring to the immigration process. World Wide Immigration Consultants: Transnational Actors Canada—A Heaven on Earth. The Canadian Government provides abundant welfare incentives, free medical, free education (up to 13th grade), highly subsidized university education, free houses for senior citizens and equal opportunities for all. It is a totally crime free country, ensuring a lifestyle devoid of any fear and apprehensions. It also offers a pollution free environment to live in (WWICS brochure Chandigarh office, 1999). To Indian professionals who worry about their, and their children's future in a country where many feel a political, economic, cultural and environmental meltdown is in progress, this description of Canada is the heady stuff of dreams. If you have the right skills and Cdn$3,000 plus the landing and processing fee, WWICS promises it can help you make it in Canada, claiming that it is the largest Canadian immigration consultant in India. The director of WWICS, Colonel Sandhu, is a Canadian18 and exlndian military man. In the 1980s Sandhu owned a supermarket in Toronto, and was shocked by the number of undocumented Punjabi immigrants in the city. Based on the problems of 1 8 Though he described himself as Canadian it is not clear if he is a permanent resident or a citizen. terrorism and police action in Punjab at that time, he encouraged a number of them to file with the Immigration Refugee Board. He began to work for an immigration law firm on an honorarium basis, and in 1993 decided to set up his own immigration consultancy firm, which currently employs five hundred staff in offices across twenty-four Indian cities. The company also employs fifty staff at its Canadian office in Mississauga and its subsidiaries, Global Settlement Services—responsible for client settlement—and Global Placement Services—an employment placement service for WWICS clients and others.19 The actual number of independent applications they claim to have filed since 1994 is 2,500 with 3,000 currently in process (Punjab Tribune, 2000d). According to Col Sandhu, in 1999 they had processed close to 50 percent of the 3,439 total of principal applicants who migrated to Canada from India.20 This has important repercussions for the settlement patterns of independent Indian immigrants in Canada. WWICS does assist clients who wish to go to any part of Canada, but since they do offer settlement services only from their Mississauga office, there is a significant incentive for clients of WWICS to choose to land in Toronto. This certainly contributes to the increased concentration of 1 9 These offices are both in Mississauga. The settlement service is exclusively for WWICS clients, and assists in relocation and settlement issues, using the infrastructure of a welcome house and staff at the office. Employment issues are dealt with through GPS, which operates as an employment agent not just for WWICS clients. The use of these services is included in the general consultant fee paid in India. In an interview with the Director of Employment services at Global Placement Services, Mississauga, he told me that they deal with 360-400 WWTCS clients a year through their settlement services group, and 1,000 general and WWICS clients a year through the placement service. He also stated that 90 percent of their clients are working within a month, and 75percent are satisfied with the employment trajectory they are on within the first month. After 6 months he suggested that when they ask their clients i f they feel 'settled', 90 percent say they do. 0 Though WWICS exclusively processes Indian applicants, they do not exclusively use the Delhi High Commission for processing. They also file applications through Canadian Embassies in London, New York, Washington, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo and Syria in order to speed up the processing time. Of course the successful completion of these applications depends upon the client being able to attend the interview in that country when called, which not only requires financial resources, but also that they secure a visa for the trip. The use of other offices also makes it difficult to directly compare figures gathered solely from the Delhi office, which will not represent the total number of applications made from India. The 1999 figure of 3,439 principal skilled applicants from India landing in Canada is from CIC (2000). 142 Indian immigrants in the Toronto Metropolitan area: of 5,724 total skilled immigrants * 21 landing in Canada from India in 2000, over 70 percent, or 4,200 landed in Toronto. In addition to shaping the geographical patterns of immigration settlement, WWICS is also active in altering the actual process of immigration. WWICS prides itself on its near total success rate, the director and staff argued that they offered a 99.9 percent success rate; indeed their brochure details a "Zero Risk Factor, a written guarantee for refund of entire amount of professional fee if one doesn't get immigration" (WWICS brochure, 1999). In part the consultants know they can offer this because they only submit applications that meet the required number of points, but they have also developed a system of appeals based upon the knowledge they have formed as transnational actors familiar with the legal checks and balances federal departments are subject to within Canada. In cases where WWICS have processed an application that has been rejected, they will write a letter to the visa officer requesting an explanation within 30 days. Following this they file a judicial review in the Federal Court of Canada using lawyers they retain in Toronto. If the case still fails they will re-file the application. CIC's Delhi office manager indicated that they had seen a significant increase injudicial reviews in the last few years. In 1998 the office had only seven or eight, but in 1999 that number had risen to seventy-five, and he suggested that the same process was also occurring in Hong Kong, probably also being driven by immigration consultants. The judicial review process determines whether there is any evidence of procedural unfairness, and in the majority of cases the CIC manager estimated they are ruled in CIC's favour. Though the CIC manager stated his support for the applicant's 2 1 Only 6.5 percent of skilled immigrants from India landed in Vancouver in 2000, drawn from cross-tabulations of LIDS 2000 data, courtesy of Harald Bauder. 143 right to review, he did indicate the frustration experienced by CIC staff due to the extra resources needed to deal with judicial reviews (which are priority cases with strict court appointed deadlines). He also mentioned that the increase injudicial reviews contributed to general processing backlogs. The Citizenship and Immigration Department is therefore subjected to forms of external scrutiny through the legislative arm of the Canadian state initiated by immigrant actors who make full and active use of these rights. If consultants can present an image of privileged access in relation to the Canadian system, then clients feel more comfortable allowing them to take over their application process, despite the fact that immigration is supposed to be available and accessible for all potential skilled migrants without the need of a consultant. WWICS' glossy 37-page brochure boasts photographs of Col Sandhu speaking with previous immigration minister Madame Robillard, and with MP Gurbax S. Malhi. On the back page a general message from Ujjal Dosanjh welcoming people to British Columbia, is presented in a way that suggests it is specially written for WWICS, bolstering the image of the organization having vital personal links with important people in Canada. Canadian officials viewed such marketing with some skepticism. The office manager of the Canadian High Commission office in Chandigarh, when asked if there were any formal links with immigration consultants in the city, adamantly stated that they did not encourage any type of connection.22 He argued that while the Canadian consular office in Chandigarh was there to give objective information, consultants often pressured the applicant since their motivation was only to make money. He also felt that some consultants were not ethical and therefore staff at the Canadian office in Chandigarh were encouraged to keep their distance and decline 2 2 Personal interview, Chandigarh Friday Dec 10th 1999. 144 invitations to social events.23 When asked about the potential for any official type of association between CIC and consultants, he was adamant that any official association would be misused. The CIC office manager in Delhi seemed to hold a less antagonistic view regarding immigration consultants. He felt they did a useful job when it came to completing forms for family class immigrants, where issues of literacy and language might pose problems. For independent class immigrants, however, he felt there was little need for a consultant, but when I asked how CIC disseminates information to prospective applicants, I was told they offer downloadable forms from their web site - hardly a parallel to the services offered by consultants.24 Considering this mostly negative official reaction to immigration consultants, one has to wonder why they are so popular with those eager to migrate? It is obvious that applicants who have the skills required could, if encouraged, file their own applications, but they are increasingly opting to use the services of immigration consultants. It could be that the expertise the consultants bring to the practice is actually making the process easier for skilled applicants—revealed in the increased number of independent immigrants from India, and the number consultants claim to file—and for CIC where forms are completed in line with the most recent guidelines. It might also indicate how applicants interpret the bureaucratic arms of the state, in that individuals need an advocate who can circumvent bureaucratic mentalities that might racialize and marginalize the Indian applicant. 2 3 He argued that many consultants would like to "mix up" with the officials at social events, and use subsequent photographs to exploit potential immigrants, encouraging them to hire a consultant when they could apply equally well apply on their own. 2 4 Although forms are supposed to be available in the Chandigarh office, I heard many people complain that there were never any forms there and staff were not particularly helpful in advising them. 145 While immigration consultants certainly advocate on behalf of immigrants and challenge the position of authority CIC seeks to retain, they are not necessarily representative of "transnationalism from below". Immigration consultants are active businesses intent on making money from global population movements. World Wide Immigration Consultants charge Cdn$3,000 per applicant, and payments are made in installments as the client moves through the process. WWICS will hold back important information such as the file number if the first installment is not paid, and if the second installment is not paid that the client will not be advised of their interview date.23 Having already processed 2,500 applicants with 3,000 more currently in process, WWICS' potential income since operations began in 1993 could be around Cdn$16.5 million.26 Seen as a recent, but steadily growing phenomenon, immigration consultants are important clients for the financial services industry, and connections between the two services are evident. In an interview with the regional head of a private sector bank in Chandigarh, we discussed the growth of immigration consultants and the associated rise in foreign exchange services; Chandigarh has seen significant growth in banking in the last five years, and in immigration consultants in the last three years.27 Typically the potential emigre uses Indian rupees to purchase a bank draft made out in Canadian dollars to a Canadian subsidiary of the immigration consultant in India, and the money is then transferred to Canada. According to the banker, however, under the 1973 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) there is no allowance for companies of this nature to 2 5 CIC experienced 8% interview no-shows for Delhi for November of 1999. 2 6 This charge appeared in line with other consultants I spoke to, and is actually lower than some considering it includes settlement assistance from the Mississauga office. One consultant who operates from Toronto informed me that she charges US$4,000 per applicant just for processing the immigration forms with no formal settlement assistance (personal interview Toronto, March 2000). 2 7 Personal interview, 18 t h February 2000, Private Sector Banker, Chandigarh. 147 remit capital overseas. The banker approached FERA officials, asking them to clarify the position. They advised that this service was prohibited, but since they did not raise any indication of potential enforcement action, the bank chose to continue acting on behalf of its clients, aware both of the significant business volume, and the uncertain legal status of these transactions. FERA was replaced by FEMA (the Foreign Exchange Management Act), in January 2000. FEMA uses civil rather than criminal charges against violators and allows convertibility of capital in the current account, but not fixed assets or capital assets such as land.28 This transition probably goes some way to explain the ambivalence of officials in deciding how to enforce the regulations during the time in question. Immigration consultants - usually Indo-Canadians familiar with both the Canadian and Indian systems - are therefore able to exploit the current flexibilities of the Indian system in order to develop their own commercial interests. The role of immigration consultants and the financial inputs both for commercial interests and CIC clearly demonstrates an intersection rarely highlighted, that between the global movement of people and capital, and indicates the effect immigration consultants can have in shaping both the social composition and geography of migration. From my interviews and discussions with immigration and Canadian state officials in India and Canada, there are ambivalent feelings about the impact of immigration consultants. Some have suggested that forms coming from reputable consultants are provided with preferential treatment, and this would be understandable if the forms were completed and compiled comprehensively and efficiently. However, should CIC focus on making the process more accessible for all applicants regardless of the use of consultants, or is it just a convenient way to streamline the process without 2 8 Reserve Bank of India, 148 actually admitting the significance of consultants: in effect a form of privatization of the immigration process? The process does, after all, create more revenue, much of which works its way back to Canada since it appears that many immigration consultancy firms have been established by Canadian immigrants. With the limited information available, one can argue that consultants have tapped a huge market where immigration is seen as a complicated process that can be eased through the use of specialists. CIC's processing teams arguably benefit from the consistent expertise brought to the practice of submitting forms, but they do not care to admit any official recognition of this channel. In the case of WWICS, the consultant is acting as an advocate for the applicant, and is achieving some impressive results, not least of which is the income they generate. To consider these examples as transnationalism from below, again overlooks the links between the individual immigrant and their ability to challenge state barriers through the mediation of corporate actors whose own ability to transcend national boundaries and state barriers is rooted in their simultaneous location as immigrants and capitalists. To read the actions of consultants as evidence of transnationalism from below is plainly too simple, but by defining it as transnationalism from above, we demean the significant political actions they introduce into the immigration process on behalf of other immigrants. Instead I chose to highlight the complexity of relations between immigrants the state to challenge this dualistic framework, and reveal how the state is itself stands to benefit financially from the movement of people. This is also enhanced by the actions of specific citizens who are transnational, exploiting their double placement as both Canadian and Indian subjects. 149 Transnational Responses and Strategies III: Multicultural Democracy The Canadian political apparatus is another channel offering new options for immigrants in their dealings with CIC. Indian immigrants in Canada are increasingly showing their interest and dedication to the political process, and in many cases this promotes an explicit connection between India and Canada, furthering the transnational nature of citizenship and community for many Indo-Canadians, and bringing Indian and Canadian officials both at the federal and provincial level, into closer contact with each other. While many Indian-origin immigrants in Canada have experienced democracy first hand in India, the majority of Indians agree that corruption is a major problem within the Indian political system. Instead of transcending divisive forces, developing an Indian identity and evolving a united nation, leaders of different hues became vote merchants busy in dividing the people for their vested interests of capturing and holding onto power. The problems that have been thrown up are those of communalism, criminalisation and casteism in politics and administration, emphasis on narrow identities and loyalties, widespread corruption, abject poverty, rampant illiteracy, overpopulation and lack of quality leadership (Kashyap, 2000). In Canada, by contrast, immigrants are presented with a political process that is relatively open to the influence of minority voters, especially as community size and socio-economic standing improves (Wood, 1981). Many Indo-Canadians have moved from influencing their elected representatives to seeking nominations themselves, and seizing the opportunity to make their mark on the political landscape which in India is seen to be a high calling (Littlemore, 2000). The individual who holds the record for the fastest progression from immigrant to Member of Parliament, for example, is an immigrant from India, Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central), who came to Canada in 1991 and was elected to 150 the Federal Government as a Reform Candidate in June 1997. Immigrant politicians play an important role in building international linkages,29 but they also address the concerns of their constituents using the democratic political process to its full extent. Grewal for example, has made several pleas to the Federal Government and the Immigration Department in particular with regard to the condition of the High Commission in Delhi, which for Grewal's Surrey constituents—positioned in networks linking them to family in India—is of major concern. He indicates these issues in his news releases; "Legitimate immigration applicants have every right to be concerned with the continued backlog, lengthy processing times and abuses within the system" (News release, February 3rd 1998).30 In a later press release he argued; "I feel it is important to assist in cleaning up the system so that it works for my constituents" (March 27th 1998, news release).31 Within a system of democratic representation Grewal's concern for his constituents' needs is commendable, but once we appreciate this community's particular tendency to utilize their right to access their political representatives, it becomes more understandable. The importance of political representation within the Indo-Canadian community is illustrated by the location of such information in The South Asian Business Directory and White pages for 2000. The directory prominently displays the following 2 9 There have been calls from MPs like Gurmant Grewal for Canada to play a greater role in encouraging peace between India and Pakistan, as well as increased attention to building trade connections often mobilized by both the federal and provincial governments through trade missions composed of mostly Indo-Canadians and often headed, in the case of BC, by Indo-Canadian ministers (see chapter six for more detail). In addition Punjab politicians often make Vancouver an important stop on their international trips. Punjab State Minister Parkash Singh Badal was to have been a guest of then BC premier Ujjal Dosanjh in October 2000, but his trip was cancelled due to security concerns connected to the arrest of suspects in the Air India bombing (Bolan, 2000b). 30 3 1 Indeed the problems of fraud and corruption in the immigration system have been registered in several overseas missions (Laghi, 2000). In December 1998 a number of LES immigration staff at the Delhi High Commission were fired due to serious malfeasance linked to bribery and visa applications (personal information from staff at the Delhi office, December 1999). 3 2 Published by the South Asian Telephone Directory Ltd, Vancouver. 151 before it even mentions the listings for immigrant and religious services and institutions: photographs of Vancouver's New Democrat Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) on page 7; a list of BC's Government Ministers on page 16; a list of Federal Ministers and Secretaries of State on pages 17-19; a list of all the BC Members of Commons on pages 20-21; a list of all the Members of the Legislative Assembly of BC on pages 22-23; and a list of Canadian Embassies around the world on pages 24-25. The number of representations made by Members of Parliament on behalf of their constituents to CIC as Table 4.1 shows is another indication of the active participation of Indo-Canadians in the democratic system. Year Number of representations presented by top ten MPs Total number of MPs making representations Total number of representations 2000 2574 157 4926 1999 2523 160 4569 1998 2669 1997 2438 Table 4.1: Member of Parliament Representations to the New Delhi Mission. 1997-2000. Data courtesy of Carolyn M. Wallace. Analyst, Asia - Pacific Division, International Region, Citizenship & Immigration Canada. Table 4.2 illustrates how the uneven nature of immigrant settlement in Canada has a direct relationship to the representations made to New Delhi. During 1999 and 2000, where over half of the top ten representations to the Delhi High Commission were Representatives for electoral districts either within, or in close proximity to Mississauga "3-1 and Scarborough within the Toronto CMA. 3 3 Gurbax.S. Malhi has consistently been the most active MP making representations to the New Delhi Mission, with 3,461 between 1997 and 2000. 152 1999 MP AND FEDERAL RIDING #OF REPS 2000 MP AND FEDERAL RIDING #OF REPS G. MALHI,