South Asian tales: ethnic entrepreneurship and narratives of spatialized transnational identities emerging in an East London (UK), inner-city area

Brick Lane is a London inner-city that has functioned as a port of arrival and settlement for different migrant populations arriving at the capital. The area today has transformed into a contemporary multi-ethnic neighbourhood dominated by a strong South Asian (mostly Bangladeshi) presence. This paper investigates narratives of racial relations, transnational communities and identities coming from individuals involved in local South Asian businesses. Theoretically speaking, transnational theories did not put emphasis on localities, as transnational flows were allegedly connecting people and institutions around the world; by focusing on flows (and individuals), places were almost overlooked. Alternatively, this paper puts emphasis on the spatial nature of transnational identities as being enacted and performed within spaces of ethnic entrepreneurship along the lane.

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