This presentation will explore what it means to be a Punjabi/Sikh man in an era of transnational migration. Over the last two decades, a gradually unfolding agricultural crisis, coupled with a lack of reliable employment opportunities, has led to an exodus of young Sikh men from the largely agrarian state of Punjab, India. Gill's research examines the various physical transformations and bodily practices that Sikh men undertake when preparing to leave India and become a part of the global proletariat, working mostly in low-wage service industries and blue-collar jobs. Using visual ethnography and images from popular culture, he explores how, within this context of transnational migration, dominant Punjabi/Sikh masculinity is increasingly defined through an ability to be flexible in appearance and to become a member of the diasporic community. To understand how global migration reshapes regional culture and economies, his research also explores how Punjabi villages and rural landscapes are transformed by the absence of these men.

 

© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766