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Diaspora

  • By: Alexander Malcolm Lovell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Originally used to describe the scattering or dispersion of Jews from Palestine in the 6th century BC, the term diaspora has evolved into a widely used reference point for understanding human migration, settlement, and transnationalism. Since the late 20th century, the term diaspora has become a common label for any ethnic population living in places other than that considered their historic homeland and also refers to collective practices that challenge the boundaries of the nation-state. The broad and growing interest in diasporas has helped forge diaspora studies as a distinct academic discipline; however, other disciplines, including geography, have also made important contributions to the subject.

Academic studies on diaspora center on several themes, including migration, loss, memory, settlement, and transnational experiences. Migration and settlement themes ...

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