Multiple Mobilities in the Hotel Industry: a case study of the North Indian Diaspora in Mauritius

Sambajee, Pratima (2011) Multiple Mobilities in the Hotel Industry: a case study of the North Indian Diaspora in Mauritius. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Initially the focus of this thesis was to simply analyse employment mobility in the Mauritian hotel industry. Through focus group interviews carried out across eight of the largest hotels in the country, the intra and inter-industry mobility of employees were examined. Low barriers to entry associated with qualifications, skills and experience have made this industry the first step towards a career for many. Moreover information from connections in the industry also played a significant role in the decision making process of potential employees. Unlike other studies which showed that employment in this industry is highly temporary and volatile, the case of Mauritius shows that although many had joined the industry by default, they stayed in it and made it a career. Investments in human capital, organizational cultures fostering employee commitment, social capital and network capital in the form of hotel industry-networks also contributed to the retention of employees within the same industry (although not necessarily the same hotel). However, the findings also reveal that not all employees are able to capitalise on these. Those belonging to the North Indian Diaspora are seen as experiencing low mobility both within the hotels and in the industry as a whole. Developing this further, through using interviews and an ethnographic approach, the thesis then identifies other forms of mobility which shape the daily lives of the participants and which could help explain the mobility of the Diaspora. In particular, I analyse the ‘home’-making practices of those belonging to the North Indian Diaspora. The thesis analyses the ways through which they have constructed a Hindu home away from India and how these practices influence their behaviour at work and in the wider community. Hybrid identities are identified through an examination of processes of language mixing and ‘home’-making. Regional disparities are identified between those living and working in the rural and urban regions. The findings from the second fieldwork reveal that apart from the spatial reconstruction of a ‘home’ away from home, strong ethnic social networks are actively being formed which affect the social capital level of the Diaspora in the labour market. Moreover, boundary maintainance practices such as the continued use of Bhojpuri, a dialect from India, has significantly reduced their motility. The study develops a framework for the understanding of how Diasporic members who are in the process of re-instating their identity away from home also end up marginalising themselves in the labour market.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 12:19
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 13:32

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