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Oh, give me a home: diasporic longings of home and belonging

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The conversations surrounding an ephemeral home - left behind decades ago or perhaps never even visited - always and continually begs the question: why? Why do we constantly talk about geographies to which we have little or no connection with such nostalgia and fervor? Why do immigrants pick a distant space and mark that territory as home, even as we settle into the spaces we presently occupy and slowly begin the journey toward some form of assimilation? Framed by these questions, this essay attempts to articulate - through a multi-site analysis including interviews, literary and media texts - how identities are shaped through - and in relation - to the nostalgic longings of non-white immigrant experiences. The essay contends that this nostalgic longing is constructed as a response to racial relationships in the United States that identifies non-white, in this instance South Asian Americans, as aliens and others who should go back home.
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Keywords: South Asian Americans; diaspora; home; race

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Communication Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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