Diaspora | The Princeton Encyclopedia of Self-Determination

Posted By on October 8, 2023

The shortest mainly Political Science definition in the literature about the exceedingly complicated and contested "diaspora" phenomenon, on which there might be a relatively wide consensus, is:Groups of persons of the same ethno-national origin who themselves, or their ancestors, voluntarily or under coercion migrated from one place to another, or to several other places, settled in these other places, and maintain their identity and various kinds of contacts with their place of origin.

However, because of the historic and current tremendous complexity of the phenomenon there is a need for a far more detailed profile that fits most ethno-national diasporas whose members have a common country of origin. The following is such a profile:Historical and modern ethno-national diasporas are cultural-social-political entities, created as a result of either voluntary or forced migration from a homeland, whose members are and regard themselves as of the same ethno-national origin and who permanently reside as minorities in one or several host-countries. Based on individual or group decisions to settle permanently in host-countries, but to maintain a common identity, most core members of diasporas identify as such, show solidarity with their group in their hostland and their entire nation, organize and are active in the cultural, social, economic, and political spheres. The various strategies that organized diasporas can follow include integration, acculturation, communalism, corporatism, autonomism, and isolation. Most established ethno-national diasporas select and implement a combined communalist and autonomist strategy. Members of such entities maintain regular or occasional contacts with their homelands and with individuals and groups of the same ethno-national origin residing in other hostlands. Among their various activities, core members of such diasporas establish local and trans-state networks that deal with the complex relations between diasporas, their host countries, homelands, and international actors. The establishment of diasporic local and trans-state organizations may cause dual loyalty vis--vis hostland and homeland. To avoid the consequences of such a situation, most diasporas accept the basic rules of the game in both their homelands and hostlands. Communal cohesion and solidarity, problems in their hostlands, the wish to support their homelands and their kin in other hostlands, and personal and organizational needs, all prompt diasporas to become engaged in a very wide range of cultural, social, political, and economic ideas and activities.(Sheffer 2003) At the beginning of this millennium, many millions of Greeks, Armenians, Gypsies, Jews, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Kurds, Irish, Polish, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Germans, and Scandinavians, who have been joined by Koreans, Palestinians, Russians, Pakistanis, Moroccans, Vietnamese, Slovaks, Mexicans, Colombians, and numerous other diasporic entities, fit this profile.

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Diaspora | The Princeton Encyclopedia of Self-Determination

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