Essay Diasporas: Human Migration and Previous Migration Experience

Submitted By mariacpatron1
Words: 861
Pages: 4

Since the year 1960 to 2013, immigration has increased a great amount. America is now called a ‘melting pot’ because there are so many cultures that inhabit it now. Many of these immigrants fall into the category if diaspora. Diaspora people are influenced to migrate to other countries not only by the economy and political issues but also by previous migration experience of earlier family members and their social status as minorities in their own country of origin. Residing in different countries and assimilating different cultures, yet still having links to their place of origin shapes the identity of this group of people. Some having conflicts of identifying on where they really belong and who they really are. The term ‘Diaspora’ was originated by the Greek verb ‘I scatter.’ When the Hebrew Bible was translated, the use of the word began to develop. The first mention of the word created as a result of exile of the Jewish people from Israel in 587 BCE by the Babylonian exile and from Roman Judea in 70 CE by the Roman Empire. In the mid 1950’s, the term became more assimilated into the English language with long term expatriates from other particular countries or regions also being referred to as a diaspora. The definition of diaspora has evolved over the years. Rogers Brubaker, a sociologist and professor at the University of California, mentions in his article “The ‘diaspora’ diaspora,” that the use of the term has been widening, he used the “WorldCat” data base to show that 17 out of the 18 books on diaspora published between 1900 and 1910 were on the Jewish diaspora, but in 2002 only two out of 20 books, out of a total of 253, sampled were about the Jewish case, with the others being about different diaspora cases.(2005) Now there are many definitions describing what the notion of diaspora is when applied to different religious and ethnic groups(Sorensen, Orozco, 2007). Esman (1986) has defined a diaspora as a minority ethnic group of migrant origin which maintains sentimental or material links with its land of origin (Orozco, 2007). Many of the definitions have a notion of migrants dispersing to other countries yet they still have links to their place of origin. Other definitions involve political aspects and globalization aspects such as new laws and economy changes. Many of these definitions also mention links to other family members from their homeland which shape the identity that the diaspora person takes. Orozco offers a more universal and preliminary definition by Sheffer. A “socio-political formation, created as a result of either voluntary or forced migration, whose members regard themselves as of the same ethno-national origin and who permanently reside as minorities in one or several host countries. Members of such entities maintain regular or occasional contacts with what they regard as their homeland and with individualism and groups of the same background residing on other host countries” (Sheffer, 2003: 10-11) In the article Adios Perú by Karsten Paerregaard, Paerregaard presents different theories about what influences Peruvians in particular to leave their country of origin. One of the theories mentioned is the Ravenstein Theory, which says that, migration is triggered by uneven patterns of development in different parts of the world (p180) Ravenstein argues that the waves of migration are due only to economic and political development within and between the nations