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  • Social Science
  • Lok Siu

Committee Members: Edward J.W. Park, Yen Le Espiritu


Unruly Immigrants: Rights, Activism, and Transnational South Asian Politics in the United States by Monisha Das Gupta

Studying South Asian feminist, queer, and labor organizations in Northeast United States, Monisha Das Gupta expertly illustrates the innovative strategies employed by these organizations to assert claims to rights for migrants. Lacking formal citizenship, the immigrants in these organizations reject the notion that rights are contingent on one's acquisition of nation-based juridical citizenship. Instead, they creatively develop what Das Gupta calls "a transnational complex of rights"—rights drawn from local, national and international law-in order to address the exploitative conditions set by this current phase of globalization. Incisive and ambitious in scope, this multi-sited ethnography provides not only comparative analysis of seven organizations—a commendable achievement for any ethnographer—but also exemplary grounded research that can only be achieved by the author's many years of sustained participation and fieldwork. Das Gupta's book is a testament to engaged ethnography that offers fresh perspective on the ingenuity of immigrant advocacy organizations. And importantly, it also gives us hope and inspiration for the broader ongoing struggle for social justice. [End Page 234]



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