Communication Under Surveillance: An analysis of Decaying Lifeworld in Home Fire


  • Urooj Waheed PhD Scholar, Department of Humanities, Air University Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Prof. Dr. Munawar Iqbal Ahmed Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Muslim Youth University, Islamabad, Pakistan



Panopticon, Lifeworld, Immigration, Interpersonal Communication


This article aims to explore the decay of the lifeworld in Kamila Shamsie’s novel Home Fire under post-9/11 surveillance and systemic pressures (financial and administrative). The recent surge in migration to Western countries due to new waves of civil unrest, such as those in Syria, has made Muslim immigrant communities more susceptible to surveillance. Using a hybrid theoretical framework rooted in Habermas’ concept of lifeworld colonization and Foucault’s rendition of panoptic surveillance, this article closely analyzes interpersonal communication among fictional characters to understand the connection between the perpetuation of dominant ideologies and the communicative bond necessary for interpersonal relationships. The analysis identifies a lack of cultural bonding and the pervasive administrative gaze working hand in hand. The sinister influence and insidious workings of power structures manifest tangibly in the characters' disinterest in interpersonal communication. This work might motivate future research to utilize fiction to understand chronic sociological issues faced by immigrants.





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How to Cite

Waheed, U., & Ahmed, M. I. (2024). Communication Under Surveillance: An analysis of Decaying Lifeworld in Home Fire. Pakistan Languages and Humanities Review, 8(2), 454–464.