Diaspora and the Politics of Difference and Sameness


Diaspora has established itself as one of the major topics in the literary and cultural studies of the twenty-first century. What is conspicuous about contemporary studies on this topic is that diaspora is regarded either as a liberatory space unmoored from the repressive national identity-formation or as a state pregnant with challenges against the authority of a nationalism or nation-state. Viewed within the social realities of multi-ethnic nations, however, diaspora has another dark face to reveal. In other words, it turns out to have reproduced another hierarchy within itself: the leading group represses the minorities for their failure to conform to the former��s perspective. The cultural difference, which diaspora is believed to preserve, also lends the hegemonic group of the host society an excuse to re-ethnicize the immigrants and subsume them under the same extra-national category as the people the latter has left behind in their homeland. This study aims at clarifying the current, often-confusing understandings of diaspora by analyzing a variety of its historical and theoretical models. It then proceeds to delving into the political potentials of diaspora and discuss their possible ramifications on the socio-political horizon.

Author Information
Suk Koo Rhee, Yonsei University, South Korea

Paper Information
Conference: ECCS2014
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ECCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon