Diasporic sincerity: tales from a 'returnee' researcher

Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This essay explores how my diasporic 'returnee' status positions me with the participants in my research endeavours within education reform non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in and around Bangalore, India. I argue that in addition to forcing me to reassess the scripts of 'belonging' I hold as an Indian American, the very stories that make me part of the diaspora reshape the research context by offering my interlocutors new narrative tropes by which to (re)imagine India. These re-imaginings precipitate a destabilisation of context-specific categories that limit social interaction, such as caste, class, gender and regional belonging, allowing me the possibility of ethnographically sincere encounters across a diverse set of participants. However, as I persistently transgress boundaries I find myself in vulnerable positions, as the politics of difference within the organisation threaten to undermine my research endeavour.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)152-167
    Number of pages16
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2014


    • development
    • diaspora
    • education
    • nationalism
    • researcher reflexivity
    • transnationalism

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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