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Diasporic Homecomings: Ethnic Return Migrants in Comparative Perspective


This project will examine various groups of ethnic return migrants—diasporic peoples who return to their ancestral homelands after living outside their countries of ethnic origin for generations. Project participants will compare the ethnopolitical reception and experiences of ethnic return migrants in different European and East Asian countries. Diasporic return migration has often been enabled by extraterritorial citizenship and immigration policies of homeland governments based on imaginings of a broader ethnic nation beyond state borders that encompasses diasporic descendants abroad. Nonetheless, ethnic return migrants frequently receive an ambivalent reception in their homelands and are often marginalized as immigrant minorities because of their cultural differences and low socioeconomic position, forcing them to reconsider their national identities and loyalties and their previously idealized images of the ethnic homeland.

Research Team
  • Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda
  • David Cook (UCLA)
  • Jon Fox (University of Bristol, U.K.)
  • Charlotta Hedberg (Uppsala University, Sweden)
  • Eunice Akemi Ishikawa (Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Japan)
  • Christian Joppke (International University Bremen, Germany)
  • Nadia Kim (Brandeis University)
  • Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels (University of Kent, Belgium)
  • Andrea Louie (Michigan State University)
  • Martin Manalansan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • Carolina Mera (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Larissa Remennick (Bar-Ilan University, Israel)
  • John Skrentny (UC San Diego)
  • Changzoo Song (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Ayumi Takenaka (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Caroline Kieu Linh Valverde (UC, Davis)
  • Anahi Viladrich (Hunter College/CUNY)

Source of Funding
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Conference Grant ($5,000)
Pacific Rim Research Program grant, University of California ($15,000)

Presentations and Events
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies conference, “Diasporic Homecomings: Ethnic Return Migrants in Comparative Perspective,” University of California at San Diego, May 20-21, 2005.

Edited book volume:
Diasporic Homecomings: Ethnic Return Migrants in Comparative Perspective (expected date of publication: 2007)

Contact: Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda