migration and diaspora exercise class 12 | Dediasporization: Homeland and Hostland Exercise

migration and diaspora exercise class 12

Notes OfAll Units : Language DevelopmentGrade 12
UnitTitleReading
1Critical ThinkingKnow Thyself Exercise
2FamilyFamily Exercise
3SportsEuro 2020 Exercise
4TechnologyHyperloop Exercise
5EducationA Story of My Childhood Exercise
6Money and EconomyQR Code Exercise
7HumourWhy do We Laugh Inappropriately? Exercise
8Human CultureLand of Plenty Exercise
9Ecology and EnvironmentLiving in a Redwood Tree Exercise
10Career OpportunitiesPresenting Yourself Exercise
11HobbiesOn Walking Exercise
12Animal WorldThe Medusa and the Snail Exercise
13HistoryAfter the World Trade Centre Exercise
14Human RightsI am Sorry”- The Hardest Three Words to Say Exercise
15Leisure and EntertainmentA Journey Back in Time Exercise
16FantasyThe Romance of a Busy Broker Exercise
17War and PeaceTrain to Pakistan Exercise
18Music and CreationA Life of Sound and Silence Exercise
19Migration and DiasporaDediasporization: Homeland and Hostland Exercise
20Power and PoliticsAn Open Letter to Mary Daly Exercise

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migration and diaspora exercise class 12 | Dediasporization: Homeland and Hostland Exercise

Migration and diaspora exercise class 12

The literature on international migration usually identifies three aspects of the
phenomenon: (1) forward motion, with a focus on its causes and consequences, (2) the
migrants themselves (settlers, sojourners, refugees, and exiles) and their incorporation
in a new social formation, with a focus on the establishment of diasporic communities,
transnational spaces, and bipolar identities, and which also addresses the issue of the
lack of fit between state and transnation, the expansion of dual citizenship rights,
and the remittances that diasporans send to the homeland, and (3) backward motion,
with a focus on the returnee population and their reincorporation in the sending
country. However, little emphasis has been placed on the pluridimensionality of the
dediasporization phenomenon. Such an emphasis could serve as a counterweight to
broad literature on structural and cultural assimilation.
Of course, assimilation has been used as a frame of analysis more in the study of
integration of migrants than in the reincorporation of returnees because researchers
tend to assume that the latter is a passing problem unlikely to endure because
these individuals are now in their homeland. Although it is important to study the

diasporization process to understand the unfolding of immigration, it is as important
to understand the dediasporization process, because it too shapes both homeland and
hostland policies and because it is an aspect of the globalization process. Because
dediasporization can occur in both the sending and the receiving countries, it deserves
some attention: it can clarify both homeland and hostland identities, the parameters
of diasporic identity, and the making, unmaking, and remaking of returnee identities.
Dediasporization has been defined “as the regrouping or in-gathering of dispersed
people . . . when a community returned to its place of origin.” This definition emphasizes
only one aspect of the process and equates it with physical relocation to the homeland.
By contrast, dediasporization is defined as the process by which a diasporic subject
either reacquires homeland citizenship by returning to the sending country, effects
generational assimilation in the host state, or reinscribes himself or herself in the
transnational circuit of the transnation-state. This definition identifies three distinct
locales where dediasporization can be effected: the homeland, the hostland, and the
translocal arena of the transnation-state. For those who were not born in the homeland,
as Nicholas Van Hear states, “return is somewhat of a misnomer.” It is not return per
se to one’s former place of residence, but rather to an ancestral territory.
As we will see, dediasporization for individuals who never gave up their citizenship or
acquired a new citizenship usually is a smooth process that requires only one’s return to
one’s homeland as if one has never left it. For those who once held another citizenship,
however, states have established formal procedures for dediasporization, which entail
a residence period and the recovery of some citizenship rights. Dediasporization
activates a process that entails the participation of three sets of actors to ensure a
successful outcome and cannot be assumed to be the work of the diasporan alone. This
is so because the individual, the state, and society have distinct roles to play in the
deployment of the process, and none of them can assume or ignore the contributions
of the others, in the various phases of dediasporization.
The individual must be willing to initiate the process, and there are multiple reasons
for doing so: desire to return to the homeland, generational factors, or the subjective
redefinition of oneself through assimilation in the hostland. However, in practice and
objectively speaking, a diasporan cannot dediasporize himself or herself without going
through formal state procedures to reacquire one’s nationality and citizenship. This is
why the role of the state is so important in the process.
The state intervenes in the process to assure itself of the eligibility of such a person to
reacquire state citizenship, with all of its privileges and obligations. Such mechanisms
are often inserted in the constitution or special laws, which provide a frame of reference
for this type of legal intervention. States that consider their diasporas still to be citizens
have less elaborate procedures to validate one’s citizenship after one’s return to the
homeland. In contrast, states that do not endorse the concept that “once a subject, always
a subject” have established more complicated procedures to regain citizenship. Here

again, considerations for regaining citizenship vary greatly in relation to residency, the
abdication of one’s citizenship, and one’s legal status upon return (whether it was a
personal decision or a prisoner extradition).
The level of citizenship that the state is willing to confer on an individual also varies:
full citizenship (Israel), limited citizenship but barred from seeking the office of the
presidency (Haiti), the acquisition of nationality but not citizenship (the dual nationality
laws of Mexico). The individual may have different reasons for regaining his or her
citizenship, but the state follows procedures fixed in law to make a decision on each
case. One may assume that not all cases meet the state’s test and that not all of the
requests are granted or are granted with longer delay in comparison with other cases.
This further underlines state importance in the dediasporization process.
The integration of citizens in society also depends on the state’s bestowal of legal
legitimacy. The consequent recognition of the diasporan by society through social
practices glues the system together, and this is perhaps the most difficult test for the
diasporan to pass. Chinese have been living in the Caribbean for more than a century,
but they are still considered by the locals as foreigners. In many societies, returnees
face the same dilemma. Their past experiences abroad as citizens of another country
place them in a different category. They are seen as having a different social standing
because of their transnational relations and sometimes because of their wealth.
In Haiti, the populace refers to returnees as diasporas, a distinct status that separates
them from the rest of society. Likewise, Russian German returnees from Kazakhstan
and Uzbekistan have confronted a similar dilemma after they have regained or
acquired German citizenship and begun living in Germany. Regina Romhild notes that
“in contrast to their official acknowledgement as German citizens with full rights from
the day of their arrival onwards they are primarily perceived as Russians in everyday
interactions with German and non-German residents.” Social recognition may not be
crucial once the legal procedure is achieved, but it still marks a distinction between
the group and the rest of society. Either because of this unresolved issue or because of
the unwillingness of returnees to integrate, dediasporized citizens tend to form their
own group, keep in contact with each other, speak a foreign language when they meet,
maintain manners they acquired abroad, and sometimes participate in a transnational
circuit of parents and friends who live abroad. In Israel, for example, some returnees
have gone so far as to form their own political party, as in the case of Israel Beiteiny,
which caters to the interests of Israelis of Russian background, and to establish a
separate organization, as in the case of the Association of Canadian and American
Jews, which celebrates American holidays and serves as an ambassador of goodwill
on behalf of these two countries.
In all this, the role of the state is central. Indeed, the identity of the state can be revealed
through a focus on whether it allows or prevents dediasporization. Those states that
prevent immigrants from being dediasporized tie their citizenship or naturalization

to that issue. Unable to become a citizen, the immigrant is forced to remain a
diasporan because the conversion or transformation into a non-other is not legally
possible. So laws against re-attainment of full citizenship are also laws of permanent
exclusion and diasporization. Here the state intervenes through its legal system to
establish a discriminatory system that actively prevents dediasporization. Such a state
is inclusionary only at the internal exclusionary level, but is not exclusionary at the
macro-inclusionary level. By such a practice a state eliminates the ambiguity of the
diasporic identity, for the status is permanent and not transitory.
A preventive policy by the state leads to the establishment of a diaspora zone, and
space for the flourishing of diasporic identity. Not only does such a policy reveal the
identity of the state, but it also reveals the identity of the diaspora, because this is the
result of negotiation between the two entities. Individuals placed in a distinct legal site
are called to create their own consciousness from this space. It also places the diaspora
in a structural position where it can entertain its relations with the sending state. In
other words, the exclusionary policy of the state limits the domain of expansion of the
diaspora and its eventual dediasporization through assimilation.
The capacity for dediasporization is not simply a state affair, but falls also under the
domain of the individual who must act to pursue this option. The maintenance of a
diaspora status depends on the ability of the individual or community to maintain “two
types of autonomy”: vis-à-vis the hostland, to prevent full assimilation and a lack of
cultural specificity, and vis-à-vis the homeland, in order to be able “to freely select
its strategies of integration and its own criteria of identification and socialization.”
Dediasporization implies that the individual or group has foresworn its ability to
maintain its distance vis-à-vis these two entities and has lost its active diaspora status.
Assimilation, however, does not ipso facto imply dediasporization, because such a
status can be in a dormant phase and can be revived in a situation of persecution. The
willingness of the individual to participate in such a scheme is essential for the process
to be fully realized. —Michel S. Laguerre

Dediasporization: Homeland and Hostland Exercise class 12

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