Tag Archives: migration

On migration and diasporas

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“To live “in diaspora” is to reside in one place but to keep in motion an emotional, cultural, or political relationship with another, whether it is the site of one’s nativity that subsequently became a point of departure or an ancestral “homeland” virtually conjured but never visited. (…)

Diasporas (…) are platforms where received notions of cultural affiliation, religious inclination, and political persuasion can come undone or become entrenched and exaggerated. (…) They can be sites of recycling as much as of reinvention. (…)

But (…) all migrants, across a wide range of social positions, nonetheless share the experience that their movement results in a certain degree of expulsion from their territorial, political, juridical, or economic status. Even if the end result of migration is a relative increase in money, power, or enjoyment, the process of migration itself almost always involves an insecurity of some kind and duration. (…) The gains of migration are always a risk, while the process itself is always some kind of loss.”

S. Illot, A.C. Mendes, L. Newns (eds.) – New Directions in Diaspora Studies (Rowman & Littlefield, London, 2018)

Thought of the day

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“The willingness to change one’s identity, or at least add a second identity – perhaps one of the most painful psychological experiences humans can encounter but also one of the most liberating – is shaped first and foremost by the willingness of the host culture to accept the immigrant into the community. As long as the host culture regards immigrants as permanent aliens and denies citizenship, then migrants will cling to their existing identities.”  (Weiner, Human Motivation, 1996, p. 53)

In his study guide on Human Geography, G.A. Jones (2011) also notes that “migrants must be willing to accept the norms and customs of the host society” and that “the extent to which exile is perceived as a temporary solution will affect the strategies adopted by the displaced”.

What do you think?