Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Chagos Islanders in Mauritius and the UKForced Displacement and Onward Migration$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Laura Jeffery

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719084300

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719084300.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

The politics of culture in exile

The politics of culture in exile

(p.75) 4 The politics of culture in exile
Chagos Islanders in Mauritius and the UK

Laura Jeffery

Manchester University Press

Culture [kiltir] has been an issue for displaced Chagos islanders in Mauritius for two reasons connected to the Chagossian struggle. First, in order to make a case for special treatment — compensation, the right of return, UK citizenship — they must show cultural uniqueness and demonstrate their distinctiveness from other Mauritian citizens and lack of integration into Mauritian society. Second, in order to be recognised as victims they must demonstrate suffering and loss as a result of the displacement. These two requirements imply contrasting notions of the characteristics of culture. On the one hand, emphasising distinctiveness implies certain static, authentic, or essential characteristics of ‘Chagossian culture’ distinguishing it from correspondingly authentic ‘Mauritian culture’. On the other hand, emphasising loss indicates that Chagossian culture underwent transformations as a result of the displacement, which requires recognition that culture is not static but changeable. This chapter investigates how Chagossian socio-political and socio-cultural groups have responded to the dual challenge of needing to represent both cultural continuity and cultural change. It starts by outlining the main issues in the anthropology of the politics of culture. It then explores how Chagos islanders came to identify collectively as Chagossians. Next, it illuminates processes of Chagossian cultural revival and gendered transmission in exile. Finally, it shows how Chagossians have simultaneously associated with and dissociated from other Indian Ocean island Creole cultures.

Keywords:   Chagossians, Mauritius, cultural continuity, cultural change, Chagos islanders, exile

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.