• Redefining Diaspora through a Phenomenology of Postmemory

    Author(s):
    Sandra So Hee Chi Kim (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Subject(s):
    Cultural studies, Phenomenological sociology, Philosophy
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    memory, Paul Ricoeur, phenomenology, postmemory, diaspora
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6HF89
    Abstract:
    This article seeks to intervene in the debates about the definition of diaspora by attending to the way in which it is a phenomenon, rooted in a particular kind of experience and consciousness. This approach seeks to move beyond ontological definitions based on categorical criteria toward a more phenomenological definition that can help us better understand the lived experience of diasporic subjects and the formation of diasporic communities. While these groups do not exist as entities that have some common essence or nature, I insist that they do exist phenomonologically. Rather than an objective, prescriptive definition of diaspora, this essay explores the subjective, descriptive quality of diaspora when approached from the inside, as an experience. A phenomenological approach, therefore, can rescue the term diaspora from its overextensions and case-specific limitations. A key consideration will be the role of memory in creating the phenomenon of diaspora. Diaspora must be understood as a phenomenon that emerges when displaced subjects who experience the loss of an "origin" (whether literal or symbolic) perpetuate identifications associated with those places of origin in subsequent generations through the mechanisms of postmemory.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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