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Kanitkar, H. A. (1972) The social organisation of Indian students in the London area. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The aim of this thesis is to show that regional and linguistic affiliations are the most significant bases for both formal and informal relationships and social ties among Indian students in the U.K. It is held that the closest interactees of the friendship groins formed by them, i.e. those to whom they turn for financial help, personal advice, or the satisfaction of relaxed social interaction, hail from their own region of India and speak the same native tongue. The nature and functions of these close friendship circles are examined, and their place in the Indian student's social relationships in Britain, Insofar as it is relevant to a study of the students' situation, I have incorporated material relating to Indian professionals resident and working here, since the social interaction of the students with other Indians is almost wholly confined to those of the same class. Background data for both students and professionals is given in the early part of the thesis. From the study of the influence of regional/linguistic ties on informal friendship circles, I examine how they affect formally organised relationships in the regionally and linguistically based associations. Membership, leadership and organisation of these associations are reviewed, as well as their purpose and function, and their influence in maintaining a student's ties with, and consciousness of, his own society. Although a hard core of association leaders is composed of fairly permanent residents in Britain, temporary student members can bring about changes if they get elected to Committee. Ordinary membership fluctuates through departures to and arrivals from India; thereby, lively contacts with the home society are maintained, and the potency of the far-reaching sanction of gossip preserved. These associations maintain cultural and social ties with India, providing a readymade avenue of retreat from British society for one who is too shy, or disinclined, to cope with the adjustments required, and insulating such a student from making contact with the host society; a relevant part of a student's foreign education. More positively, regional associations provide an anchor for those who might become socially disoriented in an alien environment, and give opportunity for healthy competition for office and the responsibility of leadership. Briefly, it is intended to show that the consciousness of regional differentiation is actively and effectively perpetuated by Indian students and professionals in Britain, in spite of rival and complementary demands within their social environment.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09

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