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A careful untangling of a complex set of ideas,
This review is from: Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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Kenny has written a short but useful summary of the nexus of ideas accrued to the modern concept of diaspora. As he says, diaspora is not merely a synonym for migration though that is how it is sometimes used, particularly in popular writing. Instead he explores how it might work as a concept of analysis versus as a practice, and from whose view it might be approached.
The most interesting sections for me are the introduction which teases out some of the debates, definitions and usages of the term; and the cautious conclusion: that diaspora has become a trendy term that might be used with a lack of self-reflection to add `apparent substance to what may actually be rather empty claims'. He also warns against the use of the word to homogenise and simplify, rather than to provide an `anti-essentialist' way of understanding relationships between place, identity, movements and connections.
In between these two sections are summary histories of various diasporas from the exile of Jews to the involuntary movement of Africans through slavery.
In summary, this is a short, sharp introduction and summary of where diaspora and migration studies are today within academia. The bibliography is brief but up-to-date making this ideal for students or general readers wanting an accessible overview of a complex topic.