Migration and Diasporas
Transnationalism, as defined by the International Office of Migration (IOM) is “the process whereby people establish and maintain socio-cultural connections across geopolitical borders,” or in Vertovec’s definition, “a set of sustained long-distance, border-crossing connections.” In the age of globalization with the constant movement of people, migrants (of all forms) are connected to not one but various places, and at times are “too foreign for the host country but too foreign for home.” Transnational lives results in interactions across national borders and becomes part of migrants’ everyday lives and realities. Such interactions can be in the form of exchange of ideas, political mobilization or economic remittance. Moreover, transnationalism is often a trigger that enables greater connection between individuals and societies across borders which in turn can bring about changes in the social, cultural, economic and political landscapes of societies of origin and destination.
When we talk about the subjects or agents of transnationalism, most people consider them to be the migrants that have moved, but it is also the people who remain in the country of origin. Families who remain in the country of origin are important stakeholders, and often times migrants’ family situation, status, or political convictions can greatly influence the migrants’ activities as well as sense of individual and collective identity. Transnational exchanges can have both positive and negative effects for those concerned including the migrants themselves, their families in the country of origin and both societies. In this sense, there are several challenges that face transnational migrants and their families including issues such as disrupted or separated families, access to resources, loss of a sense of identity or belonging and conflicts between the ideas of their host country and their home country. Moreover, migrants’s transnational connection are at times regarded as split loyalites, and can even raise national security concerns.
This panel will focus primarily on identities and lives of Asian migrants, and examine the various realities and challenges that face these migrants. To present insights into this fascinating discussion of Asian migrants, diasporas and transnationalism, this panel will invite speakers to present on the following empirical case studies: (1) ethnic Korean communities in Japan; (2) identity of contemporary British Muslim writers; (3) transnational, anti-caste movement and identity of British-Asians; (4) overseas Vietnamese community in Australia.