chapter  1
Deconstructing and comparing diasporas
ByWilliam Safran
Pages 22

Decades ago, academic discussion of ethnic minorities was already in full swing. Yet few, if any, writers on the subject mentioned diaspora. One looks in vain for a treatment of that phenomenon in the works of Anderson, Brass, Enloe, Gurr, Hobsbawm, Horowitz, or many other prominent scholars of ethnicity. This neglect could be attributed to the fact that diasporas were not considered a ‘comfortable’ sociological category; it was perhaps also due to the fact that diaspora communities did not want to call attention to their ambiguous collective identity, and hence did not mobilize politically to obtain the kinds of civil and political rights normally accorded to ‘indigenous’ minorities.