Translation as a probe into homeland-diaspora relations

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This article suggests translation as a particularly useful object of inquiry for the study of ideological relations and mutual perceptions between homeland and diaspora cultures. To demonstrate the fruitfulness of translation for probing homeland-diaspora affinities and tensions, the article draws on the sociological notion of boundary work, and offers an overview and discussion of varied translation phenomena that represent a negotiation of symbolic boundaries between and within homelands and diasporas. It shows how translation, in both directions of transfer, serves to bridge ideological discrepancies between homeland and diaspora cultures, yet also accentuates the divergent and, to a certain extent, competing collective identities in the two societies. The findings on translation phenomena in homeland-diaspora frameworks are then applied to recent meta-discussions of the field of diaspora studies, particularly to tensions between the conceptions of hybridity and boundary maintenance in definitions of the field and its main goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalTranslation Studies
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Homeland-diaspora relations
  • diaspora literature
  • diaspora studies
  • ideology
  • symbolic boundaries


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