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Two old fashioned a suitcases on railroad tracks

3rd Global Conference
Diasporas: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

1st December 2019 – 2nd December 2019
Prague, Czech Republic


Roundtable: Tracing Stories of a Heritage Language: Personal Accounts of Diasporic Experience
Ana Jovanović
University of Belgrade

Ana Kojadinović
Humboldt University of Berlin

Alexandra Portmann
University of Bern

Key Words:
heritage language, identities, intercultural identities, hybridity, narratives, Serbian language.

We propose to share personal narratives with a common focus on the relationships between personal identities and heritage language. It is said that the acquisition of the heritage language, also called family language or community language, is accompanied by a specific “intercultural burden” (Kagan 2012) manifested through the intersection of different influences and psychological tensions that are always resolved in a more or less successful way. This psychosocial and cultural reality brings potential for a development of a truly intercultural identity, frequently denominated as hybrid identity, that brings together contradictions and conflicts of inherited cultural differences. The multiplicity of identities that is conditioned by personal, social, cultural, and other factors reveals itself through attitudes toward the language and, in fact, it becomes (de)activated by the specific circumstances in which we find ourselves throughout our lifespan. Here, through a prism of three personal narratives, we create a puzzle of questions and reflections in relation to the heritage language. The three voices are articulated through three auto-biographic accounts of individuals–two linguists and a dramaturge–professionally invested into the topic of Diaspora. The common thread is the experience of the Serbian as heritage language: from the perspective of an ex-migrant who decided to return to the native country, a first-generation migrant who is confronted with the role of heritage language in her professional life as a teacher and in her personal life as a mother, and a second-generation migrant who teaches her daughter her heritage language so that it continues to manifest as a family language on different levels. As an aspect of personal identity, the idealized concept of heritage and heritage language affect one’s identity and make a decisive impact on potentially life-defining decisions.


The Unfaded Political Boundaries: Irreconcilability of State Sovereignty and International Responsibility to Protect Internally Displaced Personsf
Aditi Singh
O.P. Jindal University

Key Words:
Internal Displacement; State Sovereignty; Inter-state boundaries; Internally Displaced Persons; International Law; Human Rights.

Since the Second World War, there has been a gradual shift from state-centrism to individual-centrism, as evidenced by Nuremburg trials and the signing of UDHR. The world is turning into an international community which is obligated, morally as well as legally, to preserve rights of all individuals across inter-state borders. Several international instruments and judgments pronounce the right of individuals to seek international assistance and a corresponding obligation on the international community to act in times of widespread and systemic violation of human rights.

But, this paper argues, we are still not in a post-Westphalian order where the consent of the State would not matter for the protection of human rights of its Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). National sovereignty can only be violated for the purposes of the UN Charter i.e. maintaining international peace and security, but for all other purposes including the protection of human rights of its IDPs, the consent of the State is mandatory. The political boundaries remain unfaded, as far as visibility and international action in the context of internally displaced persons is concerned.

This paper further argues that it is the legal gap, caused due to the irreconcilability between the concepts of national sovereignty and international responsibility to protect internally displaced persons, that the IDPs fall into. The paper also discusses ways to bridge this legal lacuna in order to ensure better protection of the rights of IDPs.


Nasaan Si Nanay?: A Phenomenological Analysis of Household-level Disaster Management in Pama Sawata, Caloocan, Philippines
Claudine Joyce Gabur
University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

Key Words:
gender roles, disaster, household-level management, environmental migration

Considering the subjectivity of the Philippines into different number of calamities, the distribution of vulnerabilities among men and women remains unequal. Although men and women are equipped with different skills and capabilities, women are still deemed vulnerable with regards to environmental disasters. The upheaval of this phenomenon can be attributed to the absence of gender integration in disaster risk management. Particularly, women become socially excluded in the planning, designing, and implementing knowledge about disaster in the community that leads them in being more vulnerable as compared to men. With that, this study looks into the forms of management that women take to address their vulnerability in the (a) pre; (b) during; (c) post-disaster management in the household-level. Specifically, this study inquires (a) indicators of disaster vulnerability in the community; (b) impact on women’s domestic work; (c) access and control on economic resources.


Understanding the Emergence of a Social Enterprise by Highly Skilled Migrants: The Case of Honduras Global Europa
Ingrid Fromm
Bern University of Applied Sciences, Zollikofen, Switzerland

Key Words:
Immigrants, Developing countries, Networks, Social enterprise

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the emergence of a social enterprise by highly skilled members of a diaspora. While most literature has focused on government intervention for diaspora engagement and monetary remittance flows from migrants, less attention has been paid to the transfer of social remittances and social enterprises created by diasporas. Based on the concept of social remittances, social network theory and motivation perspectives, this study unpacks the emergence of a social enterprise by highly skilled migrants of a developing country.

Design/methodology/approach – This study examines social enterprise emergence through an autoethnographic approach to describe and systematically analyze personal experience. This approach allows to understand cultural experience around the emergence of a social enterprise created by diverse members of a diaspora.

Findings – Findings reveal that diaspora knowledge networks (DKNs) can emerge through the activation of a highly skilled diaspora network structure. Core diaspora members can activate a latent network of highly skilled migrants that wish to fulfill intrinsic motivations. Findings support the extend current understandings of social remittances by highly skilled migrants, who emerge as a transnational community that desires to stay connected to their country-of-origin and can support the emergence of a transnational network structure for development. The findings reveal that place attachment, sense of duty and well-being are key factors for highly skilled migrants to engage in DKNs.

Originality/value – The paper contributes to literature on networks and migrant-based organizational emergence by examining how and why highly skilled migrants from a developing country engage in the emergence of a DKN. Findings challenge previous views of government intervention and provides evidence on how the transmission of collective social remittances can flow trans-nationally, making highly skilled migrants effective agents of knowledge circulation and DKNs a vehicle for transmission. More specifically, the study provides evidence of the relevance of transnational features in the context of diaspora networks that lead to organizational emergence. It underscores the influence of interrelated motivations in diaspora engagement studies.


Towards a Common Theory of Second-Generation Assimilation: Comparing United States and European Studies on Education and Labor Market Integration
Kacper Grass

Key Words:
classical linear theory, segmented assimilation theory, comparative integration context theory, second-generation assimilation

Since the 1970s and 1980s, subsequent waves of so-called ‘new immigration’ have been arriving in the United States and Europe. In the US, this immigration started with the arrival of immigrants and asylum-seekers from Mexico, Central America, and Asia. In Europe, the trend began with the influx of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants and continues today with the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Anti-immigrant politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have adopted exclusionary and often xenophobic rhetoric to further their policies, arguing that these new immigrants and their children are essentially incapable of assimilating into Western society. A review of the literature reveals why the classical linear theory of second-generation assimilation is no longer relevant and proposes instead the contemporary segmented assimilation and comparative integration context theories developed by US and European researchers, respectively. A review of the findings of two state-of-the-art studies—the CILS project for the United States context and TIES project for the European context—provides empirical evidence that, despite undeniable obstacles, the new second generation is indeed able to assimilate into Western education systems and labor markets. Nonetheless, gaps in the existing literature also suggest the need for further research in the field for the creation of a more generalizable theory of second-generation assimilation before appropriate policy measures can be implemented.


Becoming “Native”: A Performance in Immigrant Narratives
Laura Duncan
Louisiana State University

Key Words:
immigration, diaspora, native, Other, postcolonial, magical realism, indigenous, colonization, cultural diversity

At what point does someone become a “native”? In his 2017 novel Exit West, Mohsin Hamid describes three categories of “natives” in the United States,

…there were almost no natives, these people having died out or been exterminated long ago…And yet it was not quite true to say there were almost no natives, nativeness being a relative matter, and many others considered themselves native to this country, by which they meant that…that their existence here did not owe anything to a physical migration that had occurred in their lifetimes.

A third layer of nativeness was composed of those who others thought directly descended… from the human beings who had been brought from Africa to this continent centuries ago as slaves. (Mohsin Hamid, Exit West 197-8)

Broadly speaking such definitions apply to the populations of many countries. The “natives” are comprised the descendants of the indigenous peoples, the colonizers or settlers, and those brought unwillingly for lives of slavery or servitude. Each category would consider itself to be a “native” yet are each as equally “native” to the others? Both groups are “native,” however, the dominant group, comprised of the descendants of the European colonizers, still regards the individuals within these groups as Other in certain ways. In this case, the term “native” does not apply evenly to all groups.

Further complicating the concept of “nativeness” are the diasporas and other individuals who were born in a particular place, yet do not fit the dominant culture’s concept of “native.” The categories of difference are many: language, physical appearance, dress, religion, etc. How may this difference, this Otherness, be overcome, if indeed such is desired? My paper will analyze how magical realist literature addresses what it means, both positive and negative, to become a “native,” keeping in mind Hamid’s statement; “nativeness is relative.”


Avowed or ascribed identity? The homogenization of the African Diaspora in Europe
Chinta Musundi-Beez
Hochschule Bremen, City University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Key Words:
African Diaspora, Africa, Culture, cultural homogenization, identity, avowed identity, ascribed Identity.

Oftentimes people from different nations of Africa are perceived as homogenous, not only through an external non-African lens, but also internally by the African Diaspora themselves. This simplistic homogenization of the African Diaspora into a broad and single unit isn’t only found in literature, political or developmental discourses, but also in the day to day socio-cultural interactions within the diaspora in their second homes. But are the cultures of the diaspora from 54 African countries actually identical and one?

It is against this background that this paper will set out to analyse the background or the motivation around the homogenization of the different cultures of the African Diaspora within western European countries, otherwise also seen as former colonizers.
This paper will pursue four specific objectives namely to determine the motivation behind such a homogenous classification of the African Diaspora, to find out if cultural homogenization, which from the onset seems deeply engrained, can actually be reversed and if yes by whom, to highlight the differences within African cultures as they are actually lived out within the diasporic communities in Europe, and finally to determine the implications of cultural homogenization on the identities of the different African diasporas living in Europe.

Adopting a theoretical, comparative and judgemental analysis, this paper will take the following positions with regards to the objectives: That the African diaspora should also take blame for the dilution of their identities; that in reality, the socio-cultural interactions within the African Diaspora communities in Europe are indeed discriminatory, as they orientate or align themselves along their respective country or regional identity; that the first step in reclaiming one’s own identity is to proudly do so, thence African diaspora must dictate the redefinition of their own identity.


Varied settlement programming in Western Canada and settlement agencies’ responsiveness.
Katerina Palova
Calgary Immigrant Educational Society

Cesar Suva
University of Calgary, Canada

Key Words:
Emotional wellness, immigrants, newcomers, barriers, accessibility, migration, minorities,
Western Canada, settlement, integration

The established practices of immigrant-serving agencies within Canada broadly center on providing newcomers with language and employment training. Increasingly, organizations are extending their services to address other aspects of settlement, including emotional wellness and mental health. However, agencies within three Canadian provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) have employed settlement services that are rather diverse and inconsistent with each other.

Dependent on each organization’s capacity and access to funding, some offer services that vary greatly, such as self-care or self-empowering support groups that are facilitated by newcomers themselves. Other organizations have established complex structures within their settlement departments, employing case and social workers, counselors or even psychologists. This presentation will reflect on the causes of this variety of services supporting newcomer emotional wellness, and their degree of consistency or inconsistency. It will also explore the structural factors and responses to clients’ needs that have led to this service diversity, considering perspectives such as those of the front-line staff.

Interventions to improve integration can begin with removing barriers newcomers typically face when attempting to reach settlement services. To demonstrate this point, a portion of the presentation will involve the audience in an activity that highlights key issues of essential resource accessibility newcomers experience in a city like Calgary. This activity will explore how the key stressors experienced by diasporic populations can come from barriers to services that are intended to facilitate their integration.


Public Service Provision for Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Perspectives, Prospects and Challenges
Emrah Atar
The University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Key Words:
Refugee Crisis, Turkey, Public Service, Local Government, Education, Healthcare, Syrian Refugees

Refugee and migration crises are among the most heartrending and vexatious humanitarian issues of this century. Syria is one of the most significant humanitarian crisis and disasters of our time. Since the conflict in 2011, hundreds of thousands of civilian population have been killed, and millions have forced to move from their homeland (UNHCR, 2017). Since 2011, civil war and terrorism have led millions of people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries including Turkey, Jordan, Egypt or any other country. This massive flow from Syria to Turkey currently makes Turkey one of the largest host countries for the Syrian refugees in the region, and Turkey is the country hosting most refugees throughout the world. As a result of the massive flux of Syrian refugees to Turkey, Turkish public service has been under an undeniable pressor, and this massive inflow has impacted Turkish public service.

This study falls within the qualitative paradigm which inductively explores a contemporary social phenomenon (indicate the research topic) in its natural settings (local and public services of Turkey), by attempting to interpret the meanings people attribute to this phenomenon through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and documented sources (Creswell, 2014; Yin, 2010). Thus, this research involves multiple sources of data gathering rather than relying on a single source (Creswell, 2014; Marshall and Rossman, 2011), including A- individual interviews with representatives of government agencies, public and private stakeholders; B- focus group meetings with of government agencies, public and private stakeholders. I have finished my data gathering process and interviewed 50 people in Turkey. Almost all of them had at least a bachelor degree and have been a part of this process from the beginning.


“It was a beautiful life”
Suzanne Goopy
University of Calgary, Canada

Key Words:
accidental suffering; cultural codes; emotional wellness; empathy; newcomers, resilience; systemic action; visual arts

“It was a beautiful life” explores the individual and collective experiences of alienation and belonging amongst Canadian newcomers. This work highlights the importance of group engagement in dismantling personal isolation. Created and produced by Suzanne Goopy through her collaborative creation studio Urban Healthscapes this is an inclusive visual arts project that brings together voices from newcomers across the Canadian prairies.

Offering a unique and engaging approach taken from across a series of research projects and drawing on the experiences of newcomers and those who work with and for them. “It was a beautiful life” considers the idea of systemic action and newcomer emotional wellness through artful representation. It explores how specific systemic dynamics and cultural codes act to bring people together or further their isolation.

“It’s a beautiful life” reveals both accidental suffering and resilience and shines a light on the depth and breadth of the everyday day complexities of settlement. It draws on research work from two projects: Refugee and Newcomer Emotional Wellness: Partnership for best practice (funded through a grant from Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada) and Empathic Cultural Mapping (funded through an Andrew Mellon Foundation grant)


How Sport Can Be An Effective Tool to Promote Community Cohesion and Integration in the UK and Internationally
Helen Vost

Key Words:
Sport for development, Youth Sport Trust International, Peace, United Nations, young people, inspire, engage.

Sport has the power to unite young people from different cultures, backgrounds, gender and abilities to develop their skills and understanding of each other. Evaluation of camps with a focus on learning through doing sport facilitated by Youth Sport Trust International, on behalf of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, for over 150 young people from 30 different countries highlighted positive outcomes:

– Recognising, developing a local identity and a sense of belonging
– Challenging perceptions, attitudes
– Increasing understanding
– Finding mutuality to enhance communication

The methodology adopted (practical strategies) has now been used successfully in the UK to support teachers working in disadvantaged communities and with young people for whom English is not their first language. Our conclusion is that sport is a highly effective tool to inspire and engage young people to learn about complex issues and develop positive solutions. It breaks down barriers and has a significant role to play in community cohesion and integration.
‘Sport has established itself as effective tool for development and peace building…………we have to make sure that sport keeps playing its beneficial role’
Wilfred Lemke, Former Special Adviser to the Secretary General, United Nations


The Place of Placism
Hazel T. Biana
De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines

Key Words:
Diversity Wheel, Placism, Oppression, Intersectionality

“Intersectionality” has become a buzzword in current philosophical discussions. Feminist theorists have used it to refer to the interlocking web of oppressive structures brought about by an individual’s diversity wheel, which includes one’s race, class, and gender. The recent literature on the subject, however, has overlooked the fact that these oppressive factors are located at a particular place. Each aspect of the diversity wheel is always situated in place. While everyone hopes to go somewhere in life, one can be limited by one’s place of origin, present location, place of migration, etc. At the same time, where one is placed influences values, beliefs, behaviors, experiences and expectations. Interestingly, people are also discriminated against based on where they live and/or where they come from. This idea is known as placism and this paper claims that placism has its rightful place in intersectionality. It highlights that the criss-crossing and intersection of various oppressive factors, including one’s place, contributes to one’s traversion of society, whether one moves forward smoothly or roughly given the choices (or lack thereof) available to the individual.


Locating Place Attachment in the Landscape of Broader Cognitive Science
Adrienne John Galang
Masaryk University, Czech Republic

Key Words:
place attachment; imagined cityscapes

People can have strong feelings and memory associations for specific places, and this has been studied under the rubric of place attachment. I examine how two strands of inquiry that developed independently might be drawn together to inform thinking about place attachment. The social psychologist Stanley Milgram attempted to document how residents of New York and Paris mentally constructed the environs of their home city. The subjective structure of these imagined cityscapes could supply the elements that are the objects of place attachment. From animal and human behavioral experiments, the phenomenon of conditioned place preference might be the basis for a rudimentary attachment to place upon which a mechanistic account could be articulated. This paper will focus on cities and the affordances they provide in the cultivation of attachment.


On the Logic of Placist Stereotypes
Jeremiah Joven Joaquin
De La Salle University – Manila, Philippines

Key Words:
placisim; stereotypes; logic; social metaphysics

Some of our thinking is influenced by what we may call, `placist stereotypes’. These are biased generalizations about a supposed character trait common among people at a certain place; i.e., alleged traits common to people in a country, a social institution, or a certain locale. For example, when we judge that Ashley is a snob because she is English or that Bertie is pretty smart because he is from Harvard, we implicitly base our judgments on a placist stereotype that English people are snobs or that Harvard students are smart. For better or for worse, this kind of thinking affects how we make important life decisions. It affects our decisions about who to hire, who to marry, who to be friends with, and so on. Owing to some recent work by philosophers, Greg Restall, Sally Haslanger and others, this proposed paper aims to explain the logical structure of inferences based on placist stereotypes, and to theorize about the social dynamics that make these inferences seem viable especially within the context of dislocated individuals.


Negotiating ‘Home’ Borders: Syrian and Palestinian Syrian Artists in Europe
Ruba Totah,
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz- Germany

In 2012, escalation of violence in Syria forced hundreds of thousands to move toward Europe. Artists from the various fields joined the moving masses aiming for alternative venues of expression than the ones they were banned or secluded from. During the escape journey, life histories of Artists coming from Syria comprised new understandings of the concepts of identity and home, which inspired them to share to share those understandings artistically at the European stages. In 2016, a research on biographies of performing artists coming from Syria commenced aiming to define relational dynamics they experienced to cope with spatial, aesthetic, and content-related transformations. This paper intends to address how those transformations drove the politics of home and identity composition on the various European stages by examining artists’ narratives and means of self-representation. It intends to look into the life histories as articulated by 13 Syrian and Palestinian Syrian performing artists as well as analyze an observation of the creative process of a documentary theatre production in Germany in 2018. The induced understanding from artists narrated and documented life stories describes the trajectories that artists joined, agency and encounter—communications, behaviors, decisions, and self-disclosures they experienced, developing what is called the relational dynamics as a result of the transnational performance production. The relational dynamics introduce a medium of new possibilities on the interventions on the concept of the ‘home’, integration and diversity.


English, like me (Impact of Intersectionalities)
Patience Adamu
Ryerson University

Key Words:
diaspora, language, dialect, accent, community, identity, Africa.

This proposal is for a workshop that will highlight how the languages people speak and are proficient in, determine which opportunities they have access to (or are restricted from). The facilitation of this workshop will incorporate findings from a doctoral research project involving English-speaking and French-speaking immigrant communities from West Africa.

Language, often more than colour, defines who you are to people. Perhaps someone does not look like you, but if they speak like you – you are likely to identify with them. In the West African state of Nigeria, there are a group of people known as Wazobians. Wazobians learn to navigate the ethnic tensions and opportunity structure of Nigeria through the fluent mastery of all three major Indigenous languages in the country: Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. Anyone can be a Wazobian, they just need to learn the three major languages, making Wazobians a great example of how to access communities and opportunities in a socially stratified society.

On a grand scale, what is happening in Nigeria with Wazobians is a global occurrence. People are increasing the number of languages in which they are competent, to increase their access to opportunity. This trend is especially pronounced with the English language as English is the language of the world wide web, and the language of the global marketplace (Heller, 2002; Pavlenko & Norton, 2007).

This workshop will approach a discussion about languages, dialects, and accents in response to the research question: “To what extent does language competency matter against barriers such as race, gender, religion and nationality in the search for opportunity?” In this space, the term language will be stretched to include colloquial language, formal language, broken/hybridized language, accents and dialects. Secondarily, this workshop will explore how diasporas use language (mother tongues) to build networks and communities as well.


Eastern Bloc Diasporas in Newfoundland: Home-Region Folklore in the Host-Region
Mariya Lesiv
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Key Words:
diaspora, immigration, Eastern Block, host-region, folklore

This paper focuses on diasporic identities created by immigrants from the former Eastern Bloc on the Canadian island of Newfoundland. Newcomers in Newfoundland do not simply find themselves in a different country. They face a setting unique within Canada, widely perceived as culturally homogeneous, with a population of predominantly English and Irish descent. While political realities often cause divisions in the immigrants’ places of origin, the Newfoundland context stimulates them to expand the notion of “our people” beyond a single ethnicity or country of origin. Select forms of folklore from their common socialist past become a foundation for identity building processes.

Due to the overall small immigrant population and transitory nature of many people’s residency on the island, no formal diaspora institutions have been established. Instead, new Newfoundlanders create occasional events and venues for interactions based on points of connection, engaging in what anthropologists Marsden, Ibañez-Tirado, and Henig call “everyday diplomacy” (2016). Examples include an Orthodox Christian Mission (uniting immigrants from Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine); a local restaurant (whose Bosnian owners use distinctions in the cuisine and traditions of various nations of the former Yugoslavia as a marketing strategy); and an annual New Year’s celebration (drawing Russian-speaking attendees from many former republics of the Soviet Union).

Diasporas in large urban centres attract the greatest amount of academic attention. With sizable immigrant populations, such locales provide room for identity formation based on a single ethnicity, country of origin, or even particular waves of immigration from a given country. Many studies address the interplay between “homeland” and “hostland” defined in broad geographical categories of countries and even continents. I propose the concept of “host-region” to introduce a regional perspective to the study of diaspora groups. Regionally focused studies can reveal greater complexities in diaspora settings that, in turn, result in new locally unique experiences.


Contemporary hegemony: A Rethink of Transnational Long-distance Democratic Participation
Njikang Kennedy Ebang
University of Jyvaskyla-Finland

Key Words:
Gramsci-Hegemony, Diaspora group/groups, Consciousness, Intellectuals, Civil society, Digital-diaspora, Power-Struggle, Homeland.

Even though the question of diasporic discontent continues to resonate within diasporic communities as evident in transnational studies, the notion of the diaspora group capable of building concrete structures and mobilise in the power struggle of their country of origin continue to pose as a challenge. Amidst disagreeing views about the political role of diaspora in their countries of origin, recent trends in transnational mobilization, especially towards the country of origin, continue to show that researchers are no longer taking without concretes evidence or a kind of vacuum. Diasporas are now thinking with real problems and objective in their mind as they engaged in activism and political mobilisation toward their country of origin. The question this paper pose is if some of Gramsci perspectives are available for operationalisation and help theorized some of the challenges confronting diasporic political activism towards the country of origin, aims towards transformation and sustainable democratic change.

To empirically investigate this question and in line with the theoretical focus of this paper, the notion of the diaspora I suggest should be categories as a group within which heterogeneity (such as ethnicity, class and gender) and power negotiations prevail. In doing so, I acknowledge the criticism of diaspora scholars, and in the analysis, I pay attention to how these differences play out towards theorizing diaspora democratic engagements. The result shows that, Gramsci’s understanding of the integral state in contemporary state-diaspora relations provides a platform to examine the centrality of politics within diaspora activism and how these programs enhance a clear political position of transnational’s toward the country of origin. Gramsci-hegemony serves as a tool for elaborating the influence of civil society and social media as a concrete institutional space align to physical, enabling transnational’s to expand their capacity towards a broader form of democratic participation in a contemporary power relationship.


The Growing Role of the Indian Diaspora in the Assembly Elections
Eva Loreng
Central University of Gujarat

Key Words:
diaspora, elections, funding, political parties, voting, digital seats

Diaspora today is a part of academic discourse and debate across disciplines. Its etymological origins, historical evolution and journeys, anthropological and sociological composition and experiences, its significance in public diplomacy have been pivotal areas of research. The Indian diaspora has become a primary part of academic dialogue in the last two decades. Its changing composition inevitably resulted in an increase in inflow of remittances and growing political significance for the home and the host state; eventually compelling the Indian government to re-strategize its policy towards the diaspora. After the success of the Indo-US nuclear deal, the position of the diaspora as a source of policy making was solidified. The nationalistic zeal and the will to return to the homeland in future are some of the key factors motivating the Indian diaspora to remain associated with the political developments in the home state.

Contemporarily this vigour has taken the form of diasporic involvement with the general elections in India. The Bhartiya Janta Party had formed a support base in the Indian diaspora in the West since the late 1970s and with time this support only grew, best manifested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Other parties like the Aam Admi Party and the Indian National Congress also thrived on diasporic support during the state assembly elections. The paper will look at the factors motivating the diaspora to participate in home state politics, how different political parties have wooed it, the diaspora’s involvement with the general elections in 2014 and 2019 and the hurdles they faced. The basic framework of the paper will be evolved by summarizing and evaluating the theoretical and empirical literature. The Election Commission of India reports, and newspaper and magazine articles will be the primary and secondary sources of literature respectively.


My milkshake!
Charlene April Clempson
York St John University

This presentation explores the role that ‘milkshaking’ as public humiliation of right wing politicians, correlates to the private shame of a Jamaican Grandma living in the UK (ethnography of completing a Windrush application). The act of milkshaking is just as important as the documentation of the event – when milkshaking occurs the perpetrator presumes a position of power which is both spatial and temporal and encoded. ‘Social and historical relation’ (Burkitt, 1991) relations which enable a concept of identities to be formed creates a disconnect – the photographic image does not seem to match the ideals of ‘a migrant’ notions of diaspora and the ‘Windrush scandal’.

The record of the event, the photograph defines the moment of power. Photographic imagery enables this to occur due to the ‘politics of representation’ and the photograph ensures that particular migratory narratives seem disconnected from more established migrant identities. Meanwhile, an ethnography of Grandma completing a Windrush application differs greatly from both the image of migrants travelling from afar and the image of the hostile environment displayed through the media in the UK. The act of seeing as a form of knowledge (Berger 1962) can not occur as these private moments are not documented via the photograph.

The oppositional code was highlighted by Stuart Hall as a message being understood in a preferred code rather than a negotiation . Decoding and negotiating is given an oppositional reading and the ‘politics of signification’ is integral to this process; representation already has a route, location of meaning has a locus. Humiliation for a right wing politician and shame for a Grandma ensures that the encoding, decoding of a message are routed; rather than a negotiation of a community trying to make sense of itself .

Grandma, Humiliation, Milkshaking, Social selves, Windrush.


Strategies of Acculturation and Cultural Integration of Jewish and non-Jewish Migrants in Brussels
Efrat Tzadik
Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

The city of Brussels is considered as a multi-cultural, multi-ethnical city with a unique mixture of ethnicities, religions and cultures. The meeting cross point of cultures is a fascinating way to learn about mutual influences between cultures where questions of openness versus closures and exchange are raised among new cultures that arrive as well as the host culture.

This proposed presentation is aimed at looking into five main components of cultures in relation to cultural integration of migrant women living in Brussels. The study compares Jewish and non-Jewish migrants in each of those five cultural components.

The classic definition of culture in anthropological literature is that of Geertz (1973), who argues that culture is the complete way of life that includes technology and objects. Culture is all a person should know to become an active individual in society. Swidler (2010) states that culture is based on symbolic tools of meaning including beliefs, rituals, art, informal culture such as language, and gossip stories. These symbolic forms are the means through which social processes of sharing behavior and perceptions occur within a particular community.

For the purposes of this study, I will relate to the narrow definition of culture as the sum of symbols, language, values, norms and material objects. In the presentation I will discuss the extend migrants use these components in order to integrate or not in the host society and the choices they make in order when it comes to bequeath to the next generation.

Furthermore, this research exhibits the four main strategies of acculturation according to Berry (1997): integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization, in relation to different migrant groups studied in Brussels.


“I Feel Threatened By My Very Identity,” or Are Americans Free to Live Outside the United States?
Laura Snyder
University of Westminster

Key Words:
“citizenship-based taxation,” “FATCA,” “banking,” “Americans overseas,” “US citizens,” “freedom,” “renunciation of citizenship,” “financial security,” “investments,” “retirement.”

“My life has been turned upside down…a real paradigm shift in my consciousness of having thought of the US as the greatest country in the world and I was very proud to be a citizen, now I feel threatened by my very identity.”

Why would an American living overseas say this?

The United States is one of two countries that taxes all its citizens—not just residents—on their worldwide income. More specifically, the United States taxes the income of its citizens who live outside the United States, including income from sources outside the United States. While this has been true since the Civil War, the stakes were increased considerably in 2010 with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), requiring foreign banks to report to the IRS accounts held by “suspected US persons.”

Many “homelanders” believe Americans who live overseas are wealthy and they left to avoid taxation. In reality most are ordinary people seeking to live ordinary lives. US taxation and banking policies prevent many from doing so.

They face: (i) incompatible tax systems resulting in penalizing taxation and the inability to make investments and save for retirement, (ii) denial of bank accounts, (iv) inability to hold bank accounts or real estate jointly with a spouse, and (v) denial of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

I recently conducted a survey of 602 Americans living overseas. The participants expressed the anguish they experience because of these policies, using words such as “anxiety,” “terrified,” “threatened,” “hunted,” “nightmare,” “sleepless,” “vulnerable,” “persecuted,” “betrayed,” “danger,” “desperate,” “pain,” “depressed,” “traumatic,” “devastated,” “humiliated,” “angry,” and “sad.”

There must be public awareness of this situation. And the laws must be changed—US laws, yes, but also the laws of the countries that have agreed to implement FATCA. Otherwise, are Americans free to live outside the United States?

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