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Floating lives : cultural citizenship and the limits of diaspora

Ommundsen, Wenche 2004, Floating lives : cultural citizenship and the limits of diaspora, Life writing, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 101-122, doi: 10.1080/10408340308518262.

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Title Floating lives : cultural citizenship and the limits of diaspora
Author(s) Ommundsen, Wenche
Journal name Life writing
Volume number 1
Issue number 2
Start page 101
End page 122
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2004
ISSN 1448-4528
1751-2964
Summary Cultural citizenship may, in the simplest terms, be taken to mean a certain 'fit' or compatibility between the cultural attributes of an individual or group and those of the society in which they live. It is a complex concept, taking in rights, responsibilities and competencies as well as the more intangible issues of identity and belonging which have been the subject of intense debates within cultural studies in the last decade. In the case of diasporic or transnational peoples, it is further complicated by the fact of their multiple and unstable cultural and/or civic allegiances (to home and host nations in the first instance, but frequently also to the cultural space of diaspora itself).

This essay examines recent life stories by Chinese Australians: Clara Law's film Floating Life (1996) and two novellas by Liu Guande and Huangfu Jun, published together in English under the title Bitter Peaches and Plums (1995). Focusing on the diversity of experience evoked by notions of cultural belonging, it argues against the prevalent tendency within diaspora studies to engage in a rhetoric of cultural essentialism. The literatures of diaspora deserve to be read as documents of unique and complex cultural experiences rather than mere illustrations of archetypes
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10408340308518262
Field of Research 200209 Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002674

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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