Mobilising towards and imagining homelands: diaspora formation among U.K. Sudanese

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This paper examines diasporic identity formation among Sudanese migrants in the U.K. From constructivist perspectives, diasporas form when mobilisations towards a ‘homeland’ initiate processes of collectively imagining that homeland. These mobilising agendas have been analysed as either emotional and/or political and correspond to processes of collective remembering, forgetting or future-making. Drawing on interviews with, and observations of, Sudan-born residents of the U.K., this paper examines diaspora formation among U.K. Sudanese. It asks what mobilising agendas unite U.K. Sudanese and what kinds of imaginative processes orient them towards their shared homeland(s). This investigation uncovers how multiple and seemingly contradictory processes of diasporic identity formation overlap within the same ‘national’ migrant community. It analyses how different mobilising agendas initiate imaginative processes of ‘past-making’ and ‘future-making’ which correspond to various types of diasporic identity. In doing so, this paper contributes to debates within constructivist approaches to diaspora formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Early online date6 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Diaspora
  • diasporic imagination
  • diasporic mobilisation
  • homelands

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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