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Diasporas and political parties

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  1. Introduction
  2. Popular wall paintings
  3. Painting in Society
  4. Instrumentalization and commodification

Etymologically, the term ?diaspora' comes from the Greek word ?diaspeirô' meaning "dispersion." It was first used to describe the dispersion of the Jews, who from the sixth century were exiled from Palestine. Later, diaspora become a specialized concept to describe African trading networks (slave traffic).

The 80s marked a turning point in understanding the concept of diaspora in the social sciences, which for a long time, recognized only the diasporas of the Jewish, Palestinian, Chinese and African origin people. The renewed interest in research on transnational communities, the phenomenon of globalization and the relativity of the model evoked the need for a more comprehensive definition, partly owing to the restrictive nature of the original definition which addressed the issues of only certain ethnic groups. Indeed, diaspora was almost synonymous with "ethnic group".

Gabriel Sheffer in ?Modern Diasporas in International Politics' (1986) provides an open definition of particular interest: "The modern diaspora of ethnic minority groups, migrant background, who live and act in the host country while maintaining strong emotional and material ties with their country of origin." Thus, it is possible to identify several distinctive features of diasporas: diasporas are the result of dispersal from a home in the territories of two countries; they assume a stable presence in the host country. Another feature of diaspora is that they are based on a common identity. Community awareness is still very strong, holding on to a memory passed down from generation to generation as the land of origin is often idealized.The real peculiarity of the diaspora is the vitality of their ties to their places of origin.

One should not risk confusing diaspora with:

- Refugee populations because diasporas assume a stable presence in the host country.
- Simple migration as diasporas attach great importance to the collective, to live together.
- Expatriates as they left for individual choice and cannot imagine their future closely linked to that of the community.

Are minorities left by international treaties resulting from territorial changes diasporas? Examples: 24 million Russians found themselves outside the borders of the Soviet Union, or 17% of the population; the Hungarian minorities in Slovakia, Romania, were forced to leave parts of their territory after the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 and so on. If the migration criterion is included in the requirements for recognition as diaspora when minorities are excluded from the analysis (what Sheffer for example), then diaspora communities will have a bigger roster. However, these minorities, like "official" diasporas, have a sense of community and equally strong ties with the homeland just as powerful. And countries of origin are particularly concerned with their protection. This concern is all the more significant that these minorities often see their rights or citizenship violated.

The identity of the diaspora is now fundamentally active: only the political mobilization can build a collective identity and maintain the cohesion of the community (especially when the homeland is in danger).

Tags: Diaspora, Jews, refugee, immigrants, citizenship rights, violation of rights, wars, displacements, Gabriel Sheffer, ?Modern Diasporas in International Politics', Hungarian minorities, slave traffic, Expatriates

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