Diaspora in Research Papers
Diaspora research papers define diaspora as the breaking up and scattering of a people or people settled far from their ancestral homelands. The past several hundred years have seen a number of such displacements, which have played a large role in determining how separate ethnic societies view each other. The development of ethnic social dictates viewing oneself in relation to others. The study of historical diasporas and their social consequences illustrates how different situations contribute to a last social hierarchy.
A diaspora research paper will commonly discuss three different diasporas:
- The European explorers/settlers in the Americas
- The Africans displaced in the slave trade
- Hispanic immigration into the United States
Each of these migrating groups has had great economic and social impact on the areas they resettle, and this impact has carried through to a lasting societal construct.
In the fifteenth century, the fervor for exploration reached a fever pitch. European states were eager to expand their empires for three reasons: gold, God, and glory. Quickly diminishing natural resources necessitated more land for producing food and commercial products. In addition, the desire to increase international influence through global hegemony inspired leaders to seek foreign land for colonizing. And, of course, converting foreign barbarians to Catholicism was also a motivating factor.
Diaspora and the Europeans
Long before travel to the Americas, Europeans were exposed to foreign cultures in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Explorers were not sure what exactly to expect from the Indians, but knew from their earlier expeditions that foreigners came in an infinite number of varieties. However, since they were “always and distinctly unlike Europeans…[they were] regarded as inferior”. The Europeans began their expeditions with the expectations to conquer and rule, not to learn and assimilate.The Indians, on the other hand, met the explorers with unbound enthusiasm. Native Americans had only interacted with other Indians to this point, and did not have the same categorization of superiority that the Europeans had.