A Fragmented Diaspora:

Iranians in Sweden

Open access

Abstract

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.

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