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International Conference "Diaspora as a Resource: Comparative Studies in Strategies, Networks and Urban Space" (04.-06.06.10, Hamburg)


This international and interdisciplinary conference is part of the research project “DiaspoRes – Diaspora as a Resource” (Director: Prof. Dr. Waltraud Kokot, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Hamburg). The main focus is on the relevance of institutions, social networks, economy and urban space in the context of diasporas as a resource.

  1. Economy, Institutions and Social Networks:
    Departing from models of middlemen minorities, a basic assumption of the DiaspoRes research project is that key factors enabling or hindering diaspora success may be found in the type and quality of social networks, both within the communities and linking them to the overall socio-economic system. Consequently, issues to be addressed will include the following:
    • the meaning and comparability of “diaspora success” in economic, social and cultural terms;
    • the relevance of diaspora institutions and social networks (weak and strong ties);
    • the structural positions, relevance and activities of particular individuals (e.g. entrepreneurs, “brokers” or “diasporists”).

  2. Diaspora and Urban Space
    A second focus is placed on the interrelations of diasporas and urban space. In the course of global migration, diaspora communities have left their mark on urban space, often by processes of ethnic business and entrepreneurship. Throughout history, certain cities (port cities ranging most prominently) have been deeply influenced by the presence of various diasporas, not only in their physical layout but also in the development of their particular urban identity.Therefore, among others, the following issues will be discussed:
    • ethnic neighbourhoods and enclaves as a potential resource in urban development;
    • diaspora success: physical markers in urban space;
    • features and characteristics of “diaspora cities”.

Further details: www.uni-hamburg.de


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