Forthcoming January 2019
This book chronicles the epidemic of untimely chronic illness that afflicts Pakistanis in Britain, an epidemic that has grown over time and generations. Drawing on fieldwork carried out over a decade, Chronic Illness in a Pakistani Labour Diaspora shows how Pakistani people make historical sense out of this epidemic and how they turn bodily suffering into moral arguments about the effects of migration and labour on the individual. It explores the moral imagination fired by the material hardship people end up in as the result of chronic ill health, their ejection from the labour market, and vulnerability to the unfolding process of welfare reform. Finally, with social security benefits set at a punitively low level, it traces the ambivalences with which people turn to kin and community for safety nets and care, how they strive to bear misfortune with dignity and patience, and how they look towards salvation, mysticism, and mystery. Bringing diaspora studies together with the anthropology of global health, the book unravels the layered distress of everyday life lived with chronic illness. It is essential reading for anyone interested in migrant and minority health, economic insecurity, morality, and ethics.
If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.