New Identities Caused By Diaspora Essay

896 words - 4 pages

In the five texts by Rudnyckyj, And, Parrenas, Maher &Pahar, and Rushdie there is an overall theme of identity in diaspora. Regarding identity, Stuart Hall argues that, “instead of thinking of identity as an already accomplished fact, which the new cultural practices then represent, we should think, as a “'production', which is never complete, always in process, and always constituted within, not outside, representation.” (Hall 222) In other words, identity is not stagnant, but active and forever changing. Moreover, that cultural practices and people are not represented by a restrictive an innate personality or existence but instead represent a dynamic understanding that is constantly in motion. How these five articles all inter-relate is that they give a clear representation of how diaspora (a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived) not only produces the transformation of identity, but also the production of new identity. In brief, diaspora is an impetus for the metamorphosis of identity.
In the first article, written by Ien Ang, the main point of discussion is identity in diaspora in relationship with citizenship and national identity. The author, Ien Ang, came from a Pernanakan Chinese family in Indonesia. He not only went to school in the Netherlands, but also had resided in Australia in more than ten years. In the article he relates with how he struggled with the feeling of not having a concrete national identity. However, what Ien illustrates is how his identity has been transformed by diaspora. As the article enunciates, “It (diaspora) deconstructed dominant notions of identity, belonging, and citizenship” (Ang in Louie). Essentially, that the traditional idea of who you are tied with belonging to a nation are no longer valid. Instead, Substituting the lack of secure national home for a border-crossing translation “home” of sorts; a significance of routes over roots” (Ang in Louie). Primarily, that identity that does not belongs to one’s current residence or original ancestral homeland.
In the second article, by Sarah Mahler and Patricia Pessar, the overall conclusion is that, “transnational actions, though often associated with the erosion of the nation-state, can indeed fortify it and in so doing also reaffirm asymmetrical gender relations” (Mahler & Pessar 447). In other words, that diaspora has actually promote the reinforce gender inequality, and the low agency of women. However, I would argue that this article also proves the complete opposite and that transnationalism is promoting new identities of equality for women. In the Guatemalan refugee camps, “The organizations (NGOs) encouraged refugee women to envision a new Guatemala in which women, in general, and poor, indigenous women, in particular,...

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