"You speak Greek well . . . (for an Australian)"

homeland visits and diaspora identity

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Abstract

It has been estimated that over 40% of people of Greek origin reside outside their home country, maintaining their language and cultural identity in different ways and to different degrees (Tamis 2005). As the proportion of Greek-born migrants in diaspora communities diminishes, their second-, third-, and fourth-generation descendants have been found to develop hybrid identities in which different attributes and values define their "Greekness." Visits to the homeland and the nature of homeland experiences provide avenues for revaluation of identity, and real-world encounters involving the Greek language can play a significant role in how diaspora and transnational Greeks experience insider or outsider status, exerting an influence on the way they come to see themselves. This article reports on the experiences of Australian-born members of the diaspora, ranging in age from late teens to late forties. Conversational interviews were used to elicit stories of experience, which were then analyzed in terms of a multifaceted identity framework including reflexive, projected, recognized, and imagined identities. The findings reveal a complex interaction between the different facets of identity and shed light on how some individuals can represent experience in ways that reflect an overall positive picture of resilience and cultural clarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-86
Number of pages22
JournalDiaspora
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • diaspora
  • transnationalism
  • identity
  • Greek

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