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Diasporic Identities, Media, and the Public Space. Introductory Remarks

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Abstract:

The concept of diaspora is enriched at present with a variety of readings in the context of globalization, transnational mobility and expansion of new communication technologies. Recent literature points to multiple meanings associated with "diaspora" and critically discusses the tendency to consider the concept and the phenomenon of "diaspora" to be interchangeable. An approach from the perspective of diasporic identities might therefore seem to run the risk of adding to the theoretical muddle around the notion. How operational is, then, the concept of "diasporic identity", taking into account, on theone hand, the continuous diversification of manifest forms of belonging that migrants and extra-territorial groups build in various transnational situations and, on the other, the increasing instability of these identity ties as regards their routines and public visibility? The new technologies and the Internet, along with the global culture of mobility, contribute to the construction of emergent identities ("the new diasporas"), shaping the forms of individual and public positioning that allow migrants to assume "a diasporic voice", a way of being and acting. The "connected migrant" (Diminescu, 2007; 2010) experiences being "between" and "in" multiple socio-cultural spaces, at global and local scales, which intersect and communicate with one another in the same way that they are distinct from one another. Groups with an identity already configured through long affiliation with well-established causes coexist withother groups and individuals that engage publicly and are thus structured through the dynamics of specific, punctual events and circumstances.

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