Creolization, ethnicity, and affective economies: an examination of Chagossian identity under the changing circumstances of life in Mauritius
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 02:46 authored by Daniel Martin
This thesis examines the lived experiences of the Chagos Islanders in Mauritius by analysing the social impacts of displacement. From 1965-1973 the Chagos Islanders were forcibly relocated from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean to Mauritius, to make way for the construction of a US military base on Diego Garcia. The Chagossians continue to deal with the social ramifications of resettlement and the challenges in establishing an ethnic identity within the culturally diverse society of Mauritius. Drawing on ethnographic research in Port Louis this paper uses creolization as a theoretical framework to examine social impacts that span three generations of displaced Islanders. The thesis will also explore how these same processes of creolization are actively used by the Islanders to adapt to changing life circumstances. This thesis will argue that Chagossian identity is an emergent category of social organisation within Mauritian society and provides a generative base for affective networks that contribute to a collective identity.