chapter  6
19 Pages

Moving Homes: Gender, Diaspora, Ethnicity

BySuki Ali

Diachromc readings of 'home' made by parents are mediated through a sense of belonging and dis/placement. They are not necessarily imbued with a 'homing desire', even when they add meaning and value to the sense of national and ethnic identifications parents make. For children, the synchronic understanding of home as the place where they currently live is held in parallel with notions of 'where they come from' as discourses of space and place, articulated with discourses of nationality and ethnicity. The concept of diaspora is one that has been usefully employed in writing about migrant and translocated peoples. This seems to be a rather stereotypically gendered view, although in this case the child's mother was also working, so the 'breadwinner' role or 'head of household' was not applicable to Nigel. A few of the children talked of having two homes when their parents were separated and they had regular access to time with both parents.