Over the past decade, the concept of “diaspora” has proliferated in cultural studies and the social sciences. Perhaps as a result of a growing awareness of what has been called globalization, many scholars shifted their focus from phenomena bounded by the borders of nation-states to transnational ones, diasporas being one of them. While the use of diaspora as a concept increased, its conceptual clarity often decreased. In the inaugural issue of the journal Diaspora, its editor stated thus:

We use “diaspora” provisionally to indicate our belief that the term that once described Jewish, Greek, and Armenian dispersion now shares meanings with a larger semantic domain that includes words like immigrant, expatriate, refugee, guestworker, exile community, overseas community, ethnic community. This is the vocabulary of transnationalism, and any of its terms can usefully be considered under more than one of its rubrics.1