Modern Migrations: Gujarati Indian Networks in New York and London
Maritsa V. Poros
158 x 240 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Although globalization seems like a recent phenomenon linked to migration, some groups have used social networks to migrate great distances for centuries. To gain new insights into migration today, Modern Migrations takes a closer look at the historical presence of globalization and how it organized migration and social networks. With a focus on the lives of Gujarati Indians in New York and London, this book explains migration patterns through different kinds of social networks and relations.

Gujarati migration flows span four continents, across several centuries. Maritsa Poros  reveals the inner workings of their social networks and how these networks relate to migration flows. Championing a relational view, she examines the kinds of ties prevalent in the different niches that Gujaratis occupy in the economies of New York and London, from shopkeepers to diamond dealers and doctors. In the process she speaks to central debates in the field about the economic and cultural roots of the causes of migration and its surprising consequences.

Modern Migrations will be of interest to anyone who has thought about India’s rich history of trade and migration and the kinds of lives that Indian immigrants live in places like New York and London. It will be useful for students and scholars of migration studies.

Maritsa V. Poros is Assistant Professor of Sociology at The City College of New York and The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

List of Figures, Maps, and Tables 
  1. Gujarati Indian Networks in New York and London
  2. From Arab Dhows to Jet Planes
  3. Linking Local Labor Markets
  4. Networks, Niches, and Inequalities
  5. Migrant Networks as Webs of Relations and Flows
  6. Immigration in a New Century
‘“Entrepreneurship is not in the blood of Gujaratis but rather in their networks (p. 93).” Poros traces out in extensive and useful detail a variety of these networks among Hindu and Jain Gujarati immigrants, and emigrants, in East Africa as well as London and New York ... demonstra[ting] the extent to which the networks do, and do not, enable migrations, promote entrepreneurship, and build community.’

- Howard Spodek, Professor of History, Temple University, USA, and author of Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth-Century India

‘... a significant contribution in the area of international migration studies ... [this book is a] ... a gripping study of Gujaratis in two global cities.... [It] will be read with interest by a wide range of scholars, policy makers, media persons and enlightened readers of South Asia.’

- Achyut Yagnik, founder Setu: Centre for Social Knowledge and Action, Ahmedabad, and author of The Shaping of Modern Gujarat

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