Homeland and Diaspora: Connection Through Spaces

  • Vahagn Vardanyan National University of Singapore

Abstract

Definitions of ‘diaspora’ differ. However, one commonly accepted feature of the concept is that diaspora assumes return and, as emphasized in the paper, return is permanent, even if it is virtual or metaphorical. This, probably, is the main factor that distinguishes diasporas from communities who only carry ethnic heritage and traditions, without maintain connections to the homeland. Unlike cases of only ethnic communities, diasporans maintain links to the homeland on a permanent basis, aimed at preserving the national identity and preventing assimilation. Diasporas, being physically in the host country, at the same time, maintain loyalty to the homeland, and loyalty to the non-territorial transnation prevails. The relationship between diaspora and the homeland is changing over time as a result of various changes and transformations, in particular, political, such as achieving political independence and establishment of a sovereign nation-state. Many nation-states, who have diaspora abroad, are applying an inclusionary approach toward the latter, aimed at strengthening the power of the state and strengthening and promoting the national identity. The paper discusses ‘diaspora return’ as the core factor for homeland’s inclusionary approach toward its diaspora, within the framework of key geographic concepts of ‘space’ and ‘place’. With space interpreted in a different form, space as place is seen vital in homeland-diaspora relations. Place-centrism is emphasized as an essential condition for transforming the homeland into a specific place of return.

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Published
2016-10-01
How to Cite
VARDANYAN, Vahagn. Homeland and Diaspora: Connection Through Spaces. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 14, p. 75-84, oct. 2016. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <http://journals.cultcenter.net/index.php/culture/article/view/268>. Date accessed: 15 oct. 2018.
Section
English Articles