Diaspora-Homeland Relations as a Framework to Examine Nation-Building Processes

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Abstract

This article examines diasporization practices – practices through which homeland and diaspora communities engage each other – as a prism through which to explore the process of nation-building and the formation of national belonging. Instead of treating ‘nation’ or ‘diaspora’ as bounded entities, it explores the various ways through which members of diaspora communities negotiate their position vis-à-vis national homeland movements on the one hand and host societies on the other. Specifically, it examines practices of fundraising, diasporic lobbying, the extension of citizenship to members of diaspora communities, and the consumption of images through communication technologies. Through these ongoing, negotiated encounters, ‘homeland’ as well as ‘diaspora’ are produced. Close examination of these practices may offer fresh insights regarding the process of nation-building in the diaspora that has a heuristic value beyond this particular setting.

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