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Feeling Greek, speaking Greek? National identity and language negotiation amongst the Greek diaspora in Australia
journal contributionposted on 10.09.2020, 15:09 by Elizabeth Mavroudi
This paper uses a qualitative case study of the Greek diaspora in Australia in order to add to debates on the geographies of diaspora and diasporic identity in relation to nation-building and nationalism through an exploration of Greek language usage. Specifically, it contributes to ongoing research in geography, diaspora studies and beyond, which stresses the need to examine and tensions and disunities within diasporic 'communities' through a focus on the materialities and emotionalities of diasporic lives and identities. The paper stresses that although more fluid and in-between diasporic identity negotiations are important, it is also necessary to examine the ways in which those in diaspora attempt to 'hold onto' times and spaces of homeland national identity in order to perform more static, bounded and inflexible notions of diasporic identity. The paper uses the example of language to demonstrate how tensions over the role and importance of homeland language in diaspora reveal different imaginations and emotions around what it means to be, feel and belong in diaspora. The paper contributes to debates over the roots and routes of diaspora, as well as the need for boundary (re)making. In doing so, it stresses the need for geographical research on diaspora, and the important role that geographers can play in critical interpretations of the lives and identities of those in diaspora, 'on the move', within and across borders. It therefore adds to ongoing geographical debates about the need to envisage diasporas in flexible and inclusive ways, but also account for the ways in which nation-building and nationalism continue to form part of diasporic identity articulations.
Australian National University Centre for European Studies Fellowship.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Geography and Environment