Homing and Belonging in the New Diaspora: Place/Space, Investment and Ethnicity
With the recent proliferation of transnational communities in the ‘post-colonial’ West, narratives of home and belonging have increasingly played a critical role in the formation of the new diaspora. Far from simply articulating nostalgia or a return to an imagined ‘homeland’, these narratives express a desire for remaking home with possible new and alternative modes of being and belonging. Central to the discourse of homing is the deployment of ethnicity and its corollary culture as they intersect notions of place/space. This paper examines narratives of homing and belonging articulated by those who inhabit the diaspora space migrants and those constructed as non-migrants. I argue that, in attending to the specificity of investment strategies in ethnicity, the circulation of ethno/cultural practices are both strategically mobilized, depending on the locationality of struggles, and partly consumed with multiple meanings of identity and subject positions. In this context the discourse of homing/belonging is rendered beyond the limits of nationhood and territorialized identity. The study is concerned with homing in the diaspora with a focus on parts of Australia and New Zealand. The data will be drawn from multiple sources-workshops, interviews and literary insights.
Keywords: Homing in Diaspora Space, Identity and Belonging, Ethnicity and Investment, Reterritorialisation and Routes
Dr. Nabila Jaber
Senior Lecturer, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Canterbury