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Views on violence in the Tibetan diaspora: On the homeland conflict and the Buddhism-violence nexus
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The academic interest in diasporas has mushroomed in recent decades. More specifically, a debate about the role of diasporas in violence/peace and whether these groups should be seen as spurring violence from afar or acting as agents of peace. This thesis contributes to this debate by investigating the Tibetan diaspora in Sweden. The Tibetan diaspora has not yet to featured in this debate, and their role has in general been undertheorized. As this diaspora is traditionally considered a Buddhist diaspora, the work also relates to and draws on a second academic debate, ie. the Buddhism-violence nexus.

The research questions addressed were:  (1) In what way has the conflict in Tibet had an impact of the lives of the members of the Tibetan diaspora in Sweden, and how, if at all, do they respond to it? and (2) Do members of the Tibetan diaspora in Sweden believe that there is room within Tibetan Buddhism to legitimize violence, and if yes; how and under what circumstances? These questions were answered through semi-structured interviews with fourteen adult members of the Tibetan diaspora in Sweden. Two analytical frames were adopted, one being the Triadic Relationship of diasporas and the second Igor Kopytoff’s Frontier Model. The findings suggest that the conflict in Tibet has influenced the interviewees both practically and emotionally. The interviewees shared a view of Buddhism as utterly non-violent but saw Buddhists as human beings, and as such; capable of violence. Buddhism is perceived as something distant and as posing ideals that cannot be achieved. Besides what the Frontier Model suggests two other potential explanatory models presented themselves. Firstly, that the answers were influenced by the particular-ness of the diaspora setting as detached from the homeland conflict, hence enabling diaspora members to keep an idealized stance. Secondly, that Tibetan Buddhism is a particularly peaceful branch of Buddhism and that a more nuanced understanding of the religion is needed when discussing the Buddhism-violence nexus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Diaspora, Tibet, Sweden, Integration, Buddhism, Violence, Nonviolence
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-61069OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-61069DiVA, id: diva2:1078473
Educational program
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-03-06 Created: 2017-03-04 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf