East Timorese in Australia: Affective Relations, Identity, and Belonging in a Time of Political Crisis

Hedda Haugen Askland

Abstract


This article considers the relationship between the East Timorese diaspora and its homeland. More specifically, it explores how a group of East Timorese exiles living in Melbourne, Australia, who left East Timor or were born in exile from the time of the 1975 civil war up to the end of the Indonesian occupation of the territory in 1999, was affected by the 2006–2007 political conflict in East Timor. The article considers how past diasporic practice established the East Timorese community in Melbourne as a largely homelandfocused community and how the subsequent centrality of the discourse of home exposed the exiles to the political events of 2006–2007. Through an analysis of Pierre Bourdieu’s (1977) notions of habitus and practice, the article explores how the crisis affected the exiles’ sense of self, community, and nation, and how it led to a process of negotiation whereby the notions of the homeland and exilic longing were muted through a gradual movement away from the translocal sphere. The article represents a contribution to the discussion of diaspora as process, condition, and consciousness; that is, diaspora as a dynamic, culturally and politically reflexive group that mediates between and negotiates competing pressures of multiple homes, cultures, and social domains. It sheds light on issues related to political mobilization, peace, and conflict, and the role of reciprocity, trust, and emotions.


Keywords


East Timorese Diaspora; Emotions; Habitus; Political Unrest; Translocal Practice

Full Text:

PDF

References


Askland, H. H. (2005). Young East Timorese in Australia: Becoming part of a new culture and the impact of refugee experiences on identity and belonging, MSocSc thesis, School of Social Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Australia.

Askland, H. H. (2007). Habitus, practice and agency of young East Timorese asylum seekers in Australia. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 8(3), 235–249.

Askland, H. H. (2009). East Timorese in Melbourne: Community and identity in a time of political unrest in Timor-Leste, PhD thesis, School of Humanities Social Science, The University of Newcastle, Australia.

Askland, H. H. (forthcoming). Circulating stories: East Timorese in Australia and questions of post-independence identity. Oceania.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). 2006 census of population and housing. Canberra, Australia: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction. London, UK: Routledge.

Bourdieu, P. (1990). The Logic of practice. Cambridge, UK: Policy Press.

Brickell, K., & Datta, A. (2011). Introduction: Translocal geographies. In K. Brickell & A. Datta (Eds.), Translocal geographies: Spaces, places, connections (pp. 3–20). Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

Endress. M. (2005). Reflexivity, reality, and relationality. The inadequacy of Bourdieu’s critique of the phenomenological tradition in sociology. Contributions to Phenomenology, 53, 51–74.

Fox, J. J. (1989). Category and complement. Binary ideologies and the organisation of dualism in Eastern Indonesia. In D. Maybury-Lewis & U. Almagor (Eds.), The attraction of opposites: Thought and society in dualistic mode (pp. 33–56). Michigan, MS: The University of Michigan Press.

Fox, J. J. (1993). Comparative perspectives on Austronesian houses: An introductory essay. In J. J. Fox (Ed.), Inside Austronesian houses: Perspectives on domestic designs for living (pp. 1–28). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

Fox, J. J. (1996a). Introduction. In J. J. Fox (Ed.), Origins, ancestry and alliance. Explorations in Austronesian ethnography (pp. 1–17). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

Fox, J. J. (1996b). The transformation of progenitor lines of origin: Patterns of precedence in Eastern Indonesia. In J. J. Fox (Ed.), Origins, ancestry and alliance. Explorations in Austronesian ethnography (pp. 130–153). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

Goodman, J. (2000). Marginalisation and empowerment: East Timorese diaspora politics in Australia. Communal/Plural, 8(1), 25–46.

Greiner, C., & Sakdapolrak, P. (2013). Translocality: Concepts, applications and emerging research perspectives. Geography Compass, 7(5), 373–384.

Hage, G. (2002). The differential intensities of social reality: Migration, participation and guilt. In G. Hage (Ed.), Arab-Australians today. Citizenship and belonging (pp. 192–205). Carlton South, Australia: Melbourne University Press.

Lau, R. W. K. (2004). Habitus and the practical logic of practice: An interpretation. Sociology, 38(2), 369–387.

Leve, L. (2011). Identity. Current Anthropology, 52(4), 513–535.

McWilliam, A. (2005). Houses of resistance in East Timor: Structuring sociality in the new nation. Anthropological Forum, 15(1), 27–44.

McWilliam, A. (2007). Austronesians in linguistic disguise: Fataluku cultural fusion in East Timor. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 38(2), 355–375.

Probyn, E. (2004a). Everyday shame. Cultural Studies, 18(2/3), 328–349.

Probyn, E. (2004b). Shame in the habitus. Sociological Review, 52(2), 224–248.

Rew, A., & Campbell, J. R. (1999). The political economy of identity and affect. In J. R. Campbell & A. Rew (Eds.), Identity and affect. Experiences of identity in a globalising world (pp. 1–38). London, UK: Pluto Press.

Said, E. (2003). Orientalism. London, UK: Penguin Classics.

Scheff, T. (1990). Microsociology: Discourse, emotion and social structure. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Silva, K. (2010). Processes of regionalisation in East Timor social conflicts. Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, 20(2), 105–123.

Soares, D. B. (2003). Branching from the trunk: East Timorese perceptions on nationalism in transition. PhD thesis, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Tangney, J. P., Miller, R. S., Flicker, L., & Barlow, D. H. (2008). Are shame, guilt and embarrassment distinct emotions? In A. S. R. Manstead (Ed.), Psychology of emotions (vol. 2, pp. 207–232). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

Thatcher, P. L. (1992). The Timor-born in exile in Australia. MA thesis, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

Throop, C., & Murphy, K. M. (2002). Bourdieu and phenomenology: A critical assessment. Anthropological Theory, 2(2), 185–207.

Traube, E. G. (1980). Mambai rituals of black and white. In J. J. Fox (Ed.), The flow of life: Essays on Eastern Indonesia (pp. 290–314). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Traube, E. G. (1986). Cosmology and social life. Ritual exchange among the Mambai of East Timor. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Traube, E. G. (2007). Unpaid wages: Local narratives and the imagination of the nation. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 8(1), 9–25.

United Nations. (2006). Report of the United Nations Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste. Geneva: United Nations.

United Nations Development Programme. (2011). Timor-Leste. Human development report 2011. Managing natural resources for human development. Developing the non-oil economy to achieve the MDGs. Dili, Timor-Leste: United Nations Development Programme.

van Wouden, F. A. E. (1968). Types of social structure in Eastern Indonesia. The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.

Varvin, S. (2003). Flukt og eksil. Traume, identitiet og mestring. Oslo, Norway: Universitetsforlaget.

Velayutham, S., & Wise, A. (2005). Moral economies of a translocal village: Obligation and shame among South Indian transnational migrants. Global Networks, 5(1), 27–47.

Vieira, L. (2012). The CAVR and the 2006 displacement crisis in Timor-Leste. Reflections on truth-telling, dialogue, and durable solutions. Retrieved from the International Center for Transitional Justice at https://www.ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-Brookings-Displacement-Truth-Telling-Timor-Leste-CaseStudy-2012-English.pdf

Werbner, P. (1998). Diasporic political imaginaries: A sphere of freedom or a sphere of illusions? Communal/Plural, 6(1), 11–31.

Wise, A. (2004). Embodying exile. Trauma and collective identities among East Timorese refugees in Australia. Social Analysis, 48(3), 24–39.

Wise, A. (2006). Exile and return among the East Timorese. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-5

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/