Adopting a transnational lens, Immigrants' Citizenship Perceptions: Sri Lankans in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand investigates Sri Lankan immigrants' complex views towards their home (Sri Lankan) and host (Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand) citizenship and the factors that affect them. The book argues that the existing citizenship policies and popular discourses towards immigrants have a strong nation-statist bias in which native citizens believe that they know how exactly immigrants should behave or feel as host citizens. The book problematises this assumption by highlighting the fact that it represents more how immigrants' citizenship perceptions should be while ignoring how they actually are. Unlike native citizens, immigrants must balance two different positions in how they view citizenship, that is, as native citizens of their home countries and as immigrants in their host countries. These two positionalities lead immigrants to a very different perspective of citizenship. Deliberating on the complexities displayed in Sri Lankan immigrants' views on their home and host citizenship, the book presents a critical analysis of citizenship views from immigrants' standpoint. This book will hence be useful for policy makers, students, and researchers in the fields of migration and citizenship as it looks at immigrants' contextual realities in depth and suggests an alternative approach to understanding their perceptions of citizenship.
"The study is an in-depth exploration into what makes 'citizenship' meaningful to Sinhalese and Tamil Sri Lankans living in Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Pavithra Jayawardena presents a rich body of ethnographic material to argue that immigrant citizenship is a specific human condition which cannot be stereotyped as it often happens to immigrant communities from the global South to the global North. Her analysis is built on a study of the phenomenology of immigrant experience in relationship in a transnational space. It draws the reader's attention to the need for a nuanced and empathic understanding of the issue of immigrants' longing for citizenship in a host country. This is a work that certainly helps formulate better government policy towards immigrant populations in host countries.
Immigrants' Citizenship Perceptions: Sri Lankans in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand is a pioneering contribution to the South Asian scholarship in the field of South Asian studies."
--Jayadeva Uyangoda, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
"This is an innovative and--given our contemporary world--timely contribution to scholarship on citizenship. Exploring ideas of citizenship from the perspective of immigrants, Dr Jayawardena presents a sensitive and nuanced discussion of the range of material and affective factors that impact on how people navigate living in and belonging to different national communities. Dr Jayawardena's approach is well explained and justified. She highlights the importance of exploring citizenship beyond binaries of 'host' and 'home' countries and 'instrumental' versus 'patriotic'. By foregrounding the voices of immigrants themselves she effectively demonstrates the complex and interconnected nature of these relationships. Well-grounded in existing debates and literature, contextually detailed and rich, this book is an excellent resource for those working in migration, citizenship and diaspora studies."
--Kiran Grewal, Reader in Human Rights, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London