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The Diaspora And The Homeland: Reciprocities, Transformations, And Role Reversals

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Chapter Summary

Diaspora is part of a transnational and transpolitical ethnoscape. This ethnoscape may be newly created-hence one may speak of new or potential diasporas, such as the Cuban, Hmong, or Palestinian. Diaspora implies cultural reproduction (Vertovec 2000, 2001). This process is a two-way street with a reciprocal impact on the diaspora and the homeland. This chapter suggests that the traditional view of diaspora as an undesirable condition has yielded in many cases to that of diasporas as lands of greater freedom than is found in the homeland. In most countries of the diaspora, Jews were regarded as members of a religious community. The fact that a large proportion of Israelis are secular should contribute to greater understanding across the diaspora-homeland divide; however, secular Jews in Israel identify primarily as Israelis, whereas secular diaspora Jews are largely self-identified as American, French, or English.

Keywords: homeland; secular diaspora Jews; secular Jews

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