Nicole Hirt

‘My Parents Told Me to Love My Country’: Positionalities of Second-Generation Diaspora Eritreans in a Transnational Setting

Globalizations | 2023

  • Abstract

    The article explores positionalities of second-generation diaspora Eritreans and their ambivalent attitudes towards their ancestral homeland and their residence country, considering the influence of their parents’ history on identity formation. It is based on long-term observation, narrative interviews, and a social media analysis to explore their self-perceptions, which originate in competing narratives about Eritrea’s past and present . Socialization in a democratic country, but also experiences of xenophobia and exclusion in their residence country shape the second-generation diaspora’s positionalities. Some engage in political or civil movements that strive for change inside Eritrea, support refugees in distress or disadvantaged groups in their country of residence, while others try to distance themselves from their heritage. I conclude that positionalities of young Eritrean diasporans are manifold and complex and do not fit in categorizations such as being either government supporters or opposition activists, as they are often described in the media.








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