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Learning to be Palestinian in Athens: constructing national identities in diaspora

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journal contribution
posted on 21.09.2011, 12:10 by Elizabeth MavroudiElizabeth Mavroudi
In this article I focus on constructions of diasporic national identities and the nation as active and strategic processes using the case study of Palestinians in Athens. I seek, thereby, to contribute to debates on national identity, the nation and long-distance nationalism, particularly in relation to those in diaspora with a collective cause to advocate. I explore how first- and second-generation Palestinians in Athens construct and narrate Palestinian national identities, the homeland and political unity. I argue that the need to ‘choose’ to be Palestinian, often for political reasons, highlights that the nation is not a ‘given’ entity. This can be a difficult process for those in diaspora to deal with, as there may be tensions between constructions of political unity and attachment to the homeland and feelings of ambivalence and in-between-ness that may be seen as politically counterproductive. However, I stress that ‘messy’ and contradictory narratives and spatialities of diasporic national identities that come about as a result of cross-border or transnational (dis)connections do not necessarily lead to apathy and, therefore, can be important.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Citation

MAVROUDI, E., 2007. Learning to be Palestinian in Athens: constructing national identities in diaspora. Global Networks, 7 (4), pp. 392-411

Publisher

© Blackwell Publishing Ltd & Global Networks Partnership

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2007

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Global Networks [© Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Global Networks Partnership]. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com and the article can be viewed at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0374.2007.00176.x/abstract

ISSN

1470-2266

Language

en