chapter  9
Beyond transnational nationalism: questioning the borders of the Chinese diaspora in the global city
Pages 18

Tölölyan made his claim that diasporas are the exemplary communities of the transnational moment in the editorial of the first issue of the journal Diaspora: A Journal for Transnational Studies, which he set up in 1991.1 Since then, he has continued to edit this now influential journal, an influence that resonates with the increasing popularity of the term ‘diaspora’ itself. While this term was once reserved as a descriptor for the historical dispersion of Jewish, Greek and Armenian peoples, today the term tends to be used much more generically to refer to almost any group living outside their country of origin, be it Italians outside Italy, Africans in the Caribbean, North America or Western Europe, Cubans in Miami, or indeed Chinese all over the world. Indeed, as Tölölyan (1996: 3) remarks, ‘the significant transformation of the last few decades is the move towards renaming as diasporas … communities of dispersion … which were known by other names until the late 1960s: as exile groups, overseas communities, ethnic and racial minorities, and so forth’.