Diaspora Is It An Ancient Word Cultural Studies Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Diaspora has been defined by many authors throughout the years but specifically Safran (Safran, 1991) defines the notion more specific than others. Diasporas is defined as the expatriate minority communities who share several identities with each other; in recent years many homeland countries have identified this notion of expatriates and produced overseas citizenship recognition; specifically India has ran the "Person of Indian Origin" (PIO) scheme we exempts individuals of Indian origin and spouses from visa requirements, working visa and various economic limitations. In doing so this achieves a social identity with the homeland. As ethnicity, once a genie contained in the bottle of some sort of locality has now become a global force, forever slipping in and through, the cracks between states and borders" (Appadurai A. , 1990) and with the instigation of dual citizenship " "overseas citizenship of India" the world is becoming more connected. The contemporary global world with its drastic expansion of mobility is a place where "difference is encountered in the adjoining neighbourhood, the familiar turns up at the end of the earth" (Clifford, 1994)

Returning to Safran's understanding of diaspora the characteristics a diaspora community associate with are that of a common ideology of dispersed ancestors from a specific origin. (Van Hear, 1998) A common bond of shared memories and this image of the homeland as a physical location with history and national achievements such as the achievements of the Gorkha's supporting the UK during the war. Furthermore a regard that they will never truly be accepted by the host society, this however is debatable as you consider 2nd and 3rd generations which will be addressed later on. A typical understanding that a diaspora community maintain and restore their heritage with solidarity and in essence building their own social consciousness by form; this social form can be as simplistic as living near other individuals they socially identify with, mainly "born from a forced dispersion, they conscientiously strive to keep a memory of the past alive and foster the will to transmit a heritage to survive as a diaspora" (Chaliand, 1989) This action can be a choice however if we consider individuals who were dispersed by force they are grouped in isolation and as a result generations later on; still occupy this exclusion, immersing within certain aspects of society considering British ethnic minorities we can look at Southall and as David Garbin instigates with the population of the Tower hamlets for the Bangladeshi population and the identification of space as a formation of the homeland is built. (Garbin, 2008) Though we can observe that diaspora is not just part of one nation living within another, it is an ethnic community that holds its own languages, culture with "diaspora as type of consciousness" (Vertovec, Three Meanings of Diaspora, exemplified among South Asian Religions, 1997)

Vertovec separates diaspora in 3 core elements; the social form, a type of consciousness and a mode of cultural production. (Vertovec, Three Meanings of Diaspora, exemplified among South Asian Religions, 1997)The social form is conjoined with aspects Cohen's separation groups. Fitting with the organisational features of trade routes, economic networks and kinship links, it can be observed that the British ethnic minorities may identify with a shared belonging of the tradition however in the modern world it is much more of lucrative aspect were the diaspora of a displaced community benefits transnationally with the cultural exchange of production. David Garbin talks about the exchange of wealth from Bangladeshi Britain's with the locals villages of origin due to this fact the original homeland becomes one of wealth and prospers. (Garbin, 2008) It can be considered further that the cultural production of exchange can be that of the young minds of the community. As individuals share a collective memory of resource and British ethnic minorities have ben instilled to give back to the cultural heritage, as a result the minorities of Britain in aspect transcend the chains of migration and not only return to their origins but give back. (Gardner, 1995)

The continuous rotation of knowledge, kinship is clear in closing the gaps of a wider diaspora; individual communities have the ability in the modern world due to globalisation to easterly marry transnationally to return to the homeland for retirement and frequent holidays to the traditional origins of the community. This concept forces us to rethink the rubrics of the nation and the view of nationality; what makes us really a national. Is it not that nations are not built on a combination of communities and identities sown together to produce this blanket we refer to a nation. (Vertovec, Transnationalism, 2009)

This concept of a triadic franchise is a concept that connects all that diaspora seems to stand for and the variety of functions and instabilities incorporated. It connects the Vertovec's stance on social form, consciousness and production within transnational movement. Cohen's separation theory for the reasons of diaspora into victim, imperial, labour, trade and the cultural with consideration to generational change and social and cultural trends; consider that the ethnic community is that of a franchise, originating from a specific national state but branching out to other national arenas. (Cohen A. , 1997) In the national arenas, hostility and isolation is first experienced but through generations it becomes socially accepted as an inherent part of the society. In the franchise you would see separation such as that in a café, various tables with various groups of individuals who identify themselves with the diaspora but may differ on views and traditions even be inclusive to a different diaspora as well; this image that all are drinking coffee but all at different strengths. The questions that arise are that does one associate themselves as a Starbucks consumer or that of a cappuccino consumer with the ever increasing globalisation, glocalisation. (Roberston, 1995)

"Certainly, the word diaspora is used today to describe any community that has emigrated whose numbers make it visible in the host community. But in order to know where it is really diaspora, time has to pass" (Marienstras, 1989) A wider diaspora is built on time, and within time the roots become transfixed and what once was seen as exclusion becomes that of a hybrid of cultures formulating in a national identity. That within this hybridity theory, there is very much moments of fusion but still why at some points identities are split into this segregation and the transnational movement defends specific spheres of the hybrid. (Brah, 1996)

Vertovec debates the concept of a divergent diaspora specifically centring on the transnational movement of Hinduism outside India. Hindu's have to an extent reworked their beliefs and practises in relation to their kin within the subcontinent. (Van Hear, 1998) Advancing this concept of a wider diaspora however Vertovec fascinatingly touches on this concept that even though the ethnic minority may represent some of the traditions and may associate with the homeland but the identity of the Hindus within Britain dramatically differ from that of the Hindu identity within India and within Britain individuals are seen to associate identities within regional aspects and as result hostility is present within Hindu communities. (Vertovec, The Hindu Diaspora: Comparative Patterns, 2000) Continuing with the notion of Werbner, religion is a powerful factor in uniting the wider diaspora, the concept of a social identity however with relation to British ethnic minorities is not as strong. (Werbner, 2002)The identity is a clear tool for this "imagined community" filled with power. A wider Diasporas seems to present its self as continuous interchange throughout the world. Identities, ethnicities and hybrids are all merged and it becomes inclusive to clearly define an individual into a specific box when their arms are metaphorically placed in others. Though in saying this it is clear to say that ethnic minorities within Britain may have become a hybrid under the "multicultural nation" there is still elements of a typology. It is clear our neighbours are becoming more and more our strangers and an identity transnational becoming a bond within spheres of the hybrid. (Hannerz, 1996)

Bengali bad boy image, is it that of social exclusion and protection or one of inherent tradition. It is clear that the typology presented to Bengali individuals on arrival has in turn formulated a new identity and that of a protection mask from persecution and racism. This is not nationally exclusive but can be evident throughout the world. This new identify may have been used as first protection but now has become one of the inherent elements seen by outsiders. (Garbin, 2008) In considering another element of tools of protection and demonstration which is still present in modern day Britain is that of Notting hill carnival, once present as a demonstration of culture and hostility faced by Caribbean's in Britain; though today is used as a celebration of identity, a form of inclusion and not exclusion. (Cohen A. , 1980) Even further connections of the transnational ties between the homeland and that of Diasporas are pre technological advances. The Bangladeshi communities supported the freedom fighters in Pakistan by lobbying in the UK further expanding on this long "distance nationalism" (Anderson, 1992) which in turn supports this concept of even though the hybrid societies have become part of the nation within in specific spheres communities will show isolation and opinion. (Toloyan, 1996)

Globalisation has facilitated the affective role of diaspora, facilitated by Appadurai's view of the 5 ways the "global cultural economy… is seen as "a complex, overlapping, disjunctive order" (Appadurai A. , 1995). Britain is built upon the "ethnos cape" of the generations of individuals transcending from throughout the world, and the significant difference in the 20century is that of the transmovment of tourists and the labour workforce.

Globalisation is intensifying the worldwide relations and to the extent that what happens across the world is now shaping the social interaction of the society within Britain. Globalisation is not the same as Diasporas but they are partners in an ever growing transnational community. It is clear that the development of technology and media as shaped political and interpersonal opinions in the hybrid communities of Britain. The British ethnic minorities are seen to be interlinked within Britain on various levels and globalisation has fascinated the local links with origins but within this communities are socially seeing themselves at isolated within the spheres of society. Globalisation as a result increasing the trans movement and development but in turn can also isolate individuals who stand for a dramatic difference to their neighbours. Your neighbour becomes your stranger, your space is no longer linked subsequently highlighting that the modern diaspora is that of consciousness and less of space. (Waters, 1995)

The British ethnic minorities sustain this transnational network with a diasporic understanding of origins. A Conscious understanding of their culture however what is evident is that societies are in essence similar but to some extent homogenised themselves within the host society. It is clear that Cohen's idea of diaspora is evident and that now the wider diaspora is interlinked by labour. Generational difference is a major factor in the concept of the modern diaspora in which it concludes a sense of isolation for the younger generations were the elders are no longer seen as the ideal, the host societies culture imposes on the diaspora communities but still certain spheres specifically effect all generations. The franchise of the community is split; the community is seated under one roof but no longer all drinking the same. Culture and individuals will forever change as global development increases but what is clear individuals the interlinked of society are interconnected transnationally. (Gellner, 1983) (O, 1998)