Presentation on theme: "Migration and Diasporas Week 19 Ethnicity and ‘Race’"— Presentation transcript:
Migration and Diasporas Week 19 Ethnicity and ‘Race’
Recap Considered complexity of concepts and terms and the contested and political nature of theories of ‘race’ and racism Looked at ‘whiteness’ and nationalism and explored the relationship between ethnicity and identity Looked at slavery as a specific form of migration.
Outline What are diasporas? Look at different definitions and usages Consider the fuzzy boundary between culture and religion
Popular Definitions The term diaspora is increasingly used by transnational populations themselves Understood as meaning groups with social, political or economic connections that cross nation-state borders Originated as a term to describe the Jewish experiences as a displaced and dispersed people –Originally sense of loss
Complex definitions Vertovec (1999) has identified three distinct meanings in academic usage –Diaspora as a Social Form –Diaspora as a Type of Consciousness –Diaspora as a Mode of Cultural Production
Diaspora as a Social Form Social Relationship through geography and history –Created through either voluntary or forced migration –Maintaining collective identity –Networks of exchange between places of settlement –Maintaining explicit or implicit ties with home –Inability or unwillingness for assimilation in the host country
Diaspora as a Social Form Political orientation –Divided loyalties –Collective lobbying Irish and Jewish lobbying of the US Government Economic Strategies –Pooling of resources –Provision of services to family, kin and co- ethnic members
To what extend do you think the experiences of migration, host and home are the key to understanding the diaspora experience
Diaspora as a Type of Consciousness Emphasis on identity as fluid not fixed –Diaspora as a state of mind Sense of identity generated though –Discrimination and exclusion the host country –Positive identification with heritage and/or contemporary world or political forces
Diaspora as a Type of Consciousness Robin Cohen argues that transnational bonds no longer need cementing through migration but can be created through shared imagination Constructions of fluid and multiple identities, culture and community with fuzzy rather than fixed boundaries
Contrast this to the more fixed definition of diaspora as a social form. Which do you think is the better explanation?
Diaspora as a Mode of Cultural Production Focuses on world-wide flow of cultural objects, images and meanings Linked to rise of globalisation Considers heterogeneity and diversity
Diaspora as a Mode of Cultural Production Considers Creolization –Host cultures are adapted, translated or mixed with others –Fluidity of constructed styles and identities Diaspora may develop ‘new traditions’ but can also return to ‘original’ or ‘true’ forms
This idea is the most fluid of them all. It is based on anti-essentialist notions of ethnicity as a choice. To what extend do you think it explains changes over time?
Culture and Religion The boundary between culture and religion is often difficult to define Most cultures have developed around a specific religion Migrants and diasporas may need to rethink these boundaries
Culture and Religion Ideas about whiteness and Britishness are connected to Christianity –Head of State is Head of Church –Public ceremonies often involve Christian prayers –Particular ways to celebrate Weddings/ Christmas etc The divide does not need to be considered by white people living in Britain
Culture and Religion Diasporas may need to consider what is religious and what is cultural in more detail –Are certain forms of dress and family forms cultural or religious? –Are cultural changes more acceptable than religious ones?
Summary Look at the concept of diaspora in more detail Considered how cultures can change or merge Considered the fuzzy boundary between culture and religion