Diaspora, Cultural Transformation and Social Ecological Transitions in Coastal Goa, India

Author Name

Prof. Ganesha Somayaji

Author Address

Head, Department of Sociology, Goa University, Goa – 403 206, Email:[email protected]


Diaspora, Cultural Transformation and Social Ecological Transitions in Coastal Goa, India


Coastal Goa, which was ruled by the Portuguese for 450 years, started to experience globalization much before the concept globalization became the buzzword to explain the social conditions of late modernity. Way back in 1880s when the British Shipping Companies started to recruit sailors and officers on board ships, international migration started in Goa. People from coastal Goa also migrated to such British and Portuguese colonies as Kenya and Macao. Migration to the Gulf and migration to Europe through Portugal characterized the 20th and 21st century diaspora in Goa.

Colonisation, Lusitanisation, and diaspora were harbingers of economic changes and cultural transformations in coastal Goa. In fact these three processes introduced modernity to Goa. The coastal belt of Goa comprising three old conquest talukas has nurtured a culture of diaspora which is the axial issue of this paper. In the coastal talukas of Goa going abroad or working onboard ship for livelihood has become a way of life which I conceptualise as a “culture of diaspora”. Elucidating this concept through field examples is one of the theoretical objectives of this paper. On account of the diaspora a number of cultural transformations are taking place which will be identified and discussed in this paper. Ecological and social ecological transitions have raised several concerns in coastal Goa whose elucidation is another objective of this paper. The interpretations and arguments of the paper are based on my field visits.


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