The Gurdwara in Britain

Narratives of Meaning, Use and Development

in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures
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  • 1 University of Leicester cc497@le.ac.uk
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Abstract

In this article, I offer some discussion of the meaning, use and development of the Sikh gurdwara in Britain. The research moves beyond typologies of the development processes of minority religious space, and traditional approaches to the identification of the heritage significance of buildings. The focus is on the perceived meaning and value of the gurdwara, investigated through narrative recollections of their everyday use and ongoing development by gurdwara attendees. I argue that this approach is a useful way of understanding the value of gurdwaras at local and national scales, where meanings either entwined with or independent of physical form may be context specific and difficult to reconcile with existing national frameworks of heritage significance. This research has implications for the ways in which heritage professionals, and others, approach their understanding of place and value, and the subsequent appropriate management of built heritage.

Contributor Notes

Clare Canning, University of Leicester. E-mail: cc497@le.ac.uk

Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

(formerly: Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures)

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