Translation as a probe into homeland-diaspora relations

Omri Asscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article suggests translation as a particularly useful object of inquiry for the study of ideological relations and mutual perceptions between homeland and diaspora cultures. To demonstrate the fruitfulness of translation for probing homeland-diaspora affinities and tensions, the article draws on the sociological notion of boundary work, and offers an overview and discussion of varied translation phenomena that represent a negotiation of symbolic boundaries between and within homelands and diasporas. It shows how translation, in both directions of transfer, serves to bridge ideological discrepancies between homeland and diaspora cultures, yet also accentuates the divergent and, to a certain extent, competing collective identities in the two societies. The findings on translation phenomena in homeland-diaspora frameworks are then applied to recent meta-discussions of the field of diaspora studies, particularly to tensions between the conceptions of hybridity and boundary maintenance in definitions of the field and its main goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalTranslation Studies
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Homeland-diaspora relations
  • diaspora literature
  • diaspora studies
  • ideology
  • symbolic boundaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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