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Diaspora and Multiculturalism

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Diaspora commonly refers to different kinds of migrant groups who have left their homeland but who continue to share a religious, ethno-national, or national identity. Since the mid-1980s, and through the 1990s, diaspora has expanded in meaning, to include more groups of people and placing more importance to the non-center and hybridity as central to diasporic identities. Asylum-seekers, refugees, exiles, forced migrants, immigrants, expatriates, guest workers, trading communities, and ethnic communities of various kinds, have come to be described as in diaspora or as tokens of a single diaspora. Some scholars have tried to retain a sense of consistency to a word, described as stretched to the point of potential irrelevance. The inequities of a liberal multiculturalism arise not from its weak commitment to difference but from its even stronger vision of national cohesion. Multicultural ideologies thus serve to reinforce liberal regimes through which nostalgia for an authentic past becomes an important driving force behind the construction of citizenship and political subjectivity.
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  • Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Green University of Bangladesh, Begum Rokeya Sarani, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • [1] Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. London: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
  • [2] Brah, Avtar. Cartographies of Diaspora: Contesting Identities. New York: Routledge, 1996.
  • [3] Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2008.
  • [4] Islam, Zahidul & Shafie, Hasan. (ed.). Anthropology on the Move: Contextualizing Culture Studies in Bangladesh. Dhaka, 2006.
  • [5] Jacobsen, Kunt A. & Kumar, P. Pratap. (ed.). South Asians in the Diaspora: Histories and Religious Traditions. Boston: Brill Leiden, 2004.
  • [6] Knott, Kim & McLoughlin, Sean. (ed.). Diasporas: Concepts, Intersections, Identities. New York: Zed Books Ltd., 2010.
  • [7] Quayson, Ato & Daswani, Girish. (ed.). A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2013.
  • [8] Rafael, Elizer Ben. Diaspora. http://sociopedia.isa (Accessed November 5, 2013).
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