Diaspora as Transnational Actors: Globalization and the Role of Ethnic Memory

  • Masaki KataokaEmail author
Reference work entry


Diaspora is a group of people who have dispersed from their homeland country to other parts of the world. Although they may have lived away from their homeland for several generations, they maintain a collective attachment to it. In addition, diaspora groups construct networks of people of the same ethnic origin, share an ethnic identity, and act transnationally. This collectiveness is strengthened by globalization and through the development of communication and transportation technologies that can assist a diaspora group with retaining ethnic bonds, regardless of state borders. This chapter focuses on the role of ethnic memory that allows diaspora to retain their ethnic identity on a transnational level. The theory of collective memory argues that socially constructed collective memory compels people to retain a shared identity with people who share their collective memory. In the case of the diaspora, many believe that they or their ancestors experienced traumatic events or suffering when they dispersed from their homeland or settled in a host country. These negative memories strengthen ethnic bonds and construct and maintain the ethnic identity of the homeland among people of the same ethnic group who are settled in different countries. Then, the latter part of the chapter introduces the case of the Indian diaspora as an example of this theory in application.


Diaspora Globalization Transnationalism Collective memory Ethnic memory 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute of Developing EconomiesJapan External Trade OrganizationChibaJapan

Section editors and affiliations

  • Melani Shyleen Anae
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Studies, Te Wānanga o WaipapaUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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