Eliezer Ben-Rafael Tel-Aviv University, Israel

abstract Contemporary diasporas are studied from many different perspectives. An aspect widely acknowledged is their illustrating a dual homeness and their challenge to national cultures’ aspiration to sociocultural unity. Insertion into new societies tends to erode the singularity of diasporic communities, but the symbols they retain or create may still warrant cultural reproduction as transnational entities. A factor of multiculturalization of their present-day societies, these diasporas themselves become multicultural entities under the influence of the host cultures on their dispersed communities. The incoherent –even chaotic – realities these contradictory tendencies generate in the eyes of analysts are not necessarily perceived in these terms by the actors. 

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