Chapter 22: Nuzzling Nuances? Asian Diaspora in New Zealand
Edwina Pio* Our shared humanity gets savagely challenged when the manifold divisions in the world are unified into one allegedly dominant system of classification – in terms of religion, or community, or culture, or nation, or civilization . . . we are diversely different. (Amartya Sen, 2006, pp. xiii–xiv) Introduction Diasporas can be categorized in multiple ways based on characteristics such as modes of cultural reproduction, sites of engagement, reconstructions of place, as nations unbound, long-distance nationalism, as a governmental category that represents new geographies, or as irreral spaces which are between the real and imagined (Vertovec, 1999; Larner, 2007). Such in-between spaces of multiple affiliations serve as a source of economic opportunities, skill sets and knowledge which can be mobilized by governments and ‘can make manifest new conceptions of governance premised on conceptions of global flows, networks and mobility’ (Larner, 2007, p. 334). The Asian Diaspora in New Zealand (NZ) has a long and chequered history closely knit with the mental models of a particular epoch and the resultant outflow in legislation, public opinion, economic and social opportunities. The broad objective of this chapter is to stimulate a critical analysis and reflection on the Asian Diaspora in NZ, through foregrounding ethnicity embedded within the socio-historical context of a particular period and country. By viewing the Asian Diaspora through the prism of postcolonalism, this chapter aims to contribute to the larger debates and scholarship on issues of otherness, governmentality and the significance of positionality in research. Hence this chapter will describe, explore and...
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