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Shabnam Koirala-Azad

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From Traitor to Collaborator: Nepali Social Action in the Context of Immigration, Transnationalism, and Diaspora

Within the frameworks of immigration, globalization, and transnationalism, this article seeks to unravel new possibilities for social action within a Diaspora. By focusing on a group of Nepali transmigrants living in the San Francisco Bay Area, this article documents their efforts to engage in collaborative social change processes between home and host countries. Through social action, they not only seek to mend severed ties with those in the home country, but also to reconceptualize new possibilities for “development” and social change in their home country while adjusting and contributing to life in the host country. The article acknowledges that the findings are based on the efforts of a relatively small immigrant community, but argues that their innovative efforts provide insights into possibilities for “counter-hegemonic” change processes worldwide. The rapid and increasing movement and relocation of people across borders necessitates new visions for collaborative social action beyond the nation-state paradigm.

Nepali transmigrants, transnationalism, social action, skills, Kartabya, environmental organizations, health networks

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 35, No. 4 (2008): 107-122