Diasporic Communities and Migration

  • Created by: KDallers-
  • Created on: 15-05-19 16:26

What is a Diaspora?

Key principles: a group that exists outside of their homeland in a HOST NATION; 'community' occurs when a MINORITY feels othered and IDEALISES their homeland

- SAFRAN - key thinker - believed that a CONNECTION to a HOMELAND is critical, as diasporas are politically engaged and focussed on POLITICAL ISSUES in their homeland; like Kurds are in Turkey - trying to form KURDISTAN

- SHEFFER - "ethnic minority groups of migrant origins residing in host nations but maintaining strong sentimental and material ties to the homeland" - clear aspects of MIGRANT, HOMELAND, HOST NATIONS and a LINK BETWEEN HOME/HOST

THE PROTOTYPICAL DIASPORA is based around DISPERSAL occurring as a result of TRAUMA, which subsequently causes emigration - essentially VICTIM GROUPS

- Can relate to riots, ethnic cleansing; there is often a FORMATIVE EVENT which has caused DISPERSAL (Cohen) 

- Jews-Holocaust/throughout history, Africans-Slavery, Armenians-1915 Genocide, Irish-Famine and British Government negligence (Kinealy), Palestinians-Israel formation 1948

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What is a Diaspora? II

Safran argued that the TRAUMATIC/BRUTAL element may not be necessary - looked at German Turks, British Pakistanis, Poles and 'labour diasporas' - these seem diasporic too

- 6 NEW CRITERIA: - dispersal, - collective memory of home, - failure to assimilate, - idea of returning, - idealise the home, - solidarity - a much BROADER DEFINITION of the PROTOTYPICAL IDEA

- Cohen; wanted to include the idea of an IMAGINARY HOMELAND (for Kurds), VOLUNTARY DISPERSAL (to accommodate 'labour diasporas' - Indians), and DETERRITORIALISED DIASPORAS - the concept was now more opened up

- CONSTRUCTIVIST DIASPORA - Dufoix - can anyone outside their homeland be a diaspora? Does this mean any marginalised group? Gopinath - 'queer diaspora'; Brubaker - can be an 'idiom, stance or claim'

- Brah - need a 'homing desire'; however, updated to a 'place of origin' by Anthias (transethnic solidarity); SOYSAL - rejects diaspora altogether - see it as exclusionary

- However, is this detracting from the concept altogther - BRUBAKER - 'IF EVERYONE IS DIASPORIC, NO ONE IS' - concept made too vague and about intersectionality?

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What is a Diaspora? III

CONSOLIDATORY PHASE - after discussion and 'opening up' of the term, needed to settle on an accommodating yet not too vague definition of a diaspora

- Tololyan - a middle road definition; need an ATTACHMENT TO HOME, but in a GLOBALISING WORLD, home can be many different places for a diaspora

- Brubaker - saw a need for a homeland, identity, and dispersion - simple characteristics - should have a shared identity, and must be transnational with sustained ties to hom

- REDEFINITION has become a politiclal activity - for example CHARIANDY and POSTCOLONIAL views of diasporic communities

- Sokefeld - 'a special case of ethnicity' - explains the unity and mobility amongst diasporic communities

- Cohen - changing definitions; suggests that NOT EVERYONE IS A DIASPORA BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE ONE

- A constantly changing subject - criteria for a diaspora; for example, Safran - argues for dezionization; Jews are prototypical diaspora - no longer? Don't long to go to Israel?

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Migration and Refugees

MIGRATION - has increased by over 70m from 2000-2015, in line with population growth, refugee movements and Asian expansion; also evidenced by GLOBAL REMITTANCE FLOWS - $28bn sent from US to MX yearly; 14% of AFGHANISTANIS now live OUTSIDE AFGHANISTAN

- Definitions; UN 'changes his country of usual residence, irrespective of reason' - adapted by IOM to include across an INTERNATIONAL BORDER; a political definition relating to NATIONALIST VIEWS - migration can be short/long term, internal/external

REFUGEE - different to migrant, and stems from a FEAR OF PERSECUTION - refugee has a HIGHER LEGAL STATUS; under UN 1951 Refugee Committee rules, they HAVE TO BE TAKEN IN

- Definitions; UN - 'outside his country for fear of persecution or conflict, requiring international protection'; IOM - includes a 'well founded fear' making the protection of the home nation 'INADEQUATE' - refugees become unwilling to return - as in Iraq, Syria

ASYLUM SEEKERS - these are refugees in waiting - no LEGAL STATUS, but on the path to become a refugee

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Actions of Diasporic Communities

These are DETERMINED by the relations between the HOME STATE and the HOST NATION; are the diaspora viewed as a THREAT (Kurds) or VALUED (Turks/Germany) - become NON-STATE ACTORS

- DIPLOMACY - diasporas help foster relations between home/host nations, and act diplomatically towards their host/home nation - for example, Turkey/Germany - have Turkish diaspora, now discuss Syrian refugees

- CONSTRUCTIVISTS - political engagement helps diasporic communities to lobby and promote their interests to their host nation

IDENTITY - a key concept - it is WHY diasporas a POLITICALLY ENGAGED - about managing the relationship between DIASPORA-HOMELAND; this links to language, religion, historical memory - can be HYBRID IDENTITY as diasporas share identification between HOME/HOST - African-Americans for example

- FACTORS INFLUENCING IDENTITY: - socialisation and integration (are the diaspora part of the host society's values), - status of the homeland (less hybrid, shamed if from a 'failed state'), - diasporic origins (look to host if exiled, forced out), - date of emigration (1979 Afghans different to Taliban-era), - religion (causes splits), - metadiaspora (wider than a nation - Muslims/Africans)

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Actions of Diasporic Communities II

NOTION OF ASSIMILATION - would seem like a LINEAR TRAJECTORY (the more time spent in the host nation/generations, more integrated)

- BRINKERHOFF - the reality is SEGMENTED ASSIMILATION - some feel disconnected based on various circumstances due to 'DOWNWARD ASSIMILATION' - ie Muslims in EU

- Geertz - believe that younger people are more INTERPRETIVE of their identity and ask 'how' they should see it - this yields GREATER ASSIMILATION

- SOCIAL CAPITAL - should be a goal of diasporic communities; should form communities, organisations and pursue goals (such as raising socioeconomic standards) - this will lead to fulfilment, and rejection of marginalisation - ALTERNATIVE - Friedman 'slummification', crisis and extremism - leads to issues for diaspora

- MOBILISATION - about psychological empowerment and feeling as if the diaspora can accomplish goals through unity, sense of belonging and goal of improving the homeland; can express values of HOME/HOST nation - mobilised for either (Ethiopian-Dutch Dir Foundation/Domincans in USA) - finding out what works best, and how they can achieve goals

- Can become an 'entrepreneurial diaspora' through utilising the INTERNET - promote cultural goals through democratic means (Rheingold) - a 'small space' making mobilisation easier

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Key Diasporic Communities Theorists

Safran - Diaspora journal, key thinker

Cohen; Brinkerhoff - textbook authors - Cohen more critical of constructionist, Brinkerhoff more about identity and mobilisation

Sheffer - definition of diaspora

Dufoix - constructionist - also Anthias; Brah; Soysal

Brubaker - quotes anti-constructionism

Tololyan - pro-consolidation

Sokefeld; Chariandy - new perspectives including POSTCOLONIAL

Geertz - youth assimilation

Friedman - 'slummification'

Rheingold - role of the internet in democratisation

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