dispersion of religious or ethnic communities

Diaspora (Ancient Greek: διασπορά, literally, "a scattering or sowing of seeds") is used (without capitals) to refer to any people or racial group living outside their traditional homelands, emigrating, being scattered in distant places and making a new community. It was first used in the Septuagint to mean the scattering of Jews after the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC.



In 1991, William Safran wrote that there is a diaspora when the people who emigrated share a collective memory of their homeland, they think about it as their true home, they want to go back and they are still influenced by it. He also wrote that the people have to be forced to emigrate in order for it to be a diaspora.[1] However, Robin Cohen (1997) does not agree with Safran on the last point, because he believes there can be a diaspora even if the people wanted to emigrate.[2]

In 2005, Rogers Brubaker wrote that there is a diaspora when a group of people live (because they were forced to or they wanted to) in a different place than they one their ancestors come from, when they identify with the same (real or not) homeland and when they keep a different cultural identity than the one of the place they currently live in.[3]


  1. Safran, William (1991). "Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return". Diaspora. 1 (1): 83–99. doi:10.1353/dsp.1991.0004. S2CID 143442531.
  2. Cohen, Robin (1997). Global Diasporas. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 6. doi:10.4324/9780203928943. ISBN 9781134077953.
  3. Brubaker, Rogers (2005). "The 'diaspora' diaspora" (PDF). Ethnic and Racial Studies. 28 (1): 1–19. doi:10.1080/0141987042000289997. S2CID 17914353. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2024.