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Discrimination is what ethnic groups make of it: subjective perceptions of peripherality among the Mohajirs of Pakistan

Nations and Nationalism

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--- - |2 Abstract The article attends to the dynamic of subjective interpretation of socio‐economic conditions by ethnic elites in ways that convince co‐ethnics of their relative deprivation and discrimination. The article asserts that it is essential to move beyond structuralist explanations relative to economic deprivation and discrimination for they stand to essentialise social and economic conditions as defined by ethnic entrepreneurs themselves. In studying the crystallisation of Mohajir ethnicity in the 1970s and 1980s, the article seeks to (re) present alternative interpretations relative to political, economic and social facts of discrimination as subjectively presented by the Mohajir ethnic elite. The article locates peripherality not in the political system that disadvantaged the Mohajirs but in the discourse of discrimination propagated by the new Mohajir ethnopolitical elite. It is in this sense that discrimination becomes what ethnic groups make of it. - 'Nations and Nationalism, EarlyView. '