The notion of diaspora generally indicates achievements: creating a home outside the homeland, entrepreneurship, the establishment of local and global networks, new organisations, media and spatial as well as social mobility. In studies of Iranian diaspora, a rosy picture of ‘super successful’ Iranians has often obscured other aspects of the diaspora — failure, conflicts, internal exclusion and fragmentation of the group along various lines, such as ideologies, class, gender, local identification and cause of migration. Through ethnographic vignettes of the Iranian migrants in Sweden, this article demonstrates the segmentation, hybridity and complexity of the experiences of the diaspora. Avoiding the language of generalisation and by focussing instead on particular histories and individual circumstances, it reveals the diversity, disintegration and contradictions within what has been assumed to be a homogeneous and static diaspora.
Abdi, S & Van Gilder, B 2016, ‘Cultural (in)visibility and identity dissonance: Queer Iranian-American women and their negotiation of existence’, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 69-86, doi:10.1080/17513057.2016.1120850
Abu-Lughod, L 1991, ‘Writing against culture’, in Recapturing anthropology, ed R Fox, School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, NM, pp. 137-162
Gholami, R 2015, Secularism and identity: non-Islamiosity in the Iranian diaspora, Ashgate Publishing Company, Burlington.
Graham, M & Khosravi, S 1997, ‘Home is where you make it: repatriation and Diaspora culture among Iranians in Sweden’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 115-133, DOI:10.1093/jrs/10.2.115
Graham, M & Khosravi, S 2002, ‘Reordering public and private in Iranian cyberspace: identity, politics and mobilization’, Identities, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 219-246, DOI:10.1080/10702890212204
Gusterson, H 1997, ‘Studying up revisited’, Political and Legal Anthropology Review, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 14-119, DOI:10.1525/pol.19184.108.40.206
Hajighasemi, A 2012, ‘The political life of Iranian immigrants in Sweden’, in The Iranian community in Sweden: multidisciplinary perspectives, ed H Hosseini-Kaladjahi, Mångkulturellt Centrum, Tumba, pp. 65-94
Hall, S 1990, ‘Cultural identity and diaspora’, in Identity: community, culture, difference, ed J Rutherford, Lawrence & Wishar, London, pp. 222-237
Hobsbawm, EJ & Ranger, TO (eds.) 1992, The invention of tradition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Jonsson, JO, Låftman, SB, Rudolphi, F & Walden, RP 2013, Integration, ethnic diversity, and attitudes among secondary school students, Stockholm University, Stockholm.
Kelly, M 2013, Onward migration: the transnational trajectories of Iranians leaving Sweden, Ph.D. dissertation, Uppsala University, Uppsala.
Khosravi, S 1999, ‘Displacement and entrepreneurship: Iranian small businesses in Stockholm’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 493-508, doi:10.1080/1369183X.1999.9976697
Khosravi, S 2009, “Gender and ethnicity among Iranian men in Sweden’, Journal of Iranian Studies, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 591-610, DOI:10.1080/00210860903106311
Khosravi, S 2010, The ‘Illegal’ Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders, Palgrave, Basingstoke and New York. Khosravi, S 2012, “White masks/Muslim names: name changes among Muslim immigrants in Sweden’, Race and Class, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 65-80, DOI:10.1177/0306396811425986
Maghbouleh, N 2017, The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race, Stanford University Press, Stanford.
Malkki, L 1995, Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Mavroudi, E 2007, ‘Diaspora as process: (De)Constructing boundaries’, Geography Compass, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 467-479, DOI:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2007.00033.x.
McAuliffe, C 2008, ‘Transnationalism within: internal diversity in the Iranian diaspora”, Australian Geographer, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 63-80, DOI:10.1080/00049180701877436
Moghaddari, S 2016, Juggling resources: social differentiation and the creation of capital among Iranians in Hamburg, Ph.D. thesis, The Graduate Institute, Genova.
Nyers, P 2010, ‘Abject cosmopolitanism: the politics of protection in the anti-deportation movement’, Third World Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 1069-1093
Ohlsson, H, Broomé, P & Bevelander, P 2012, ‘Self-employment of immigrants and natives in Sweden – a multilevel analysis’, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, vol. 24, no. 5&6, pp. 405-423, DOI:10.1080/08985626.2011.598570
Sanandaji, N 2012, Från fattigdom till framgång: om iranska invandrare som lyckas, och om svensk integrationspolitik som inte gör det, Timbro, Stockholm.
SCB 2011, Universitet och högskolor. Utländsk bakgrund för studenter och doktorander 2010/11, Statistiska centralbyrån, Stockholm.
Werbner, P 2004, ‘Theorizing complex diasporas: purity and hybridity in the South Asian public sphere in Britain’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 895-911, DOI:10.1080/1369183042000245606.