Blurred Lines of Cultural Identities Due to Globalization

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Globalization has resulted in blurred lines of cultural identities. More people are moving across borders due to labor, immigration, and forming new spaces in their host countries. The heterogeneity created by this globalization features the already existing culture or cultures of the host country, people who fight to maintain and preserve their cultural identity by rejecting the influences of other cultures, and others who readily adopt new hybrid identities. The negotiations for an identity and the struggle for their place in the host country can be understood in the ways Zadie Smith and Junot Díaz examine their characters construction of identities under the influences of history, host country, and battling cultures. Smith’s White Teeth and Díaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, feature narratives that jump into the past to offer the reader the historical prelude to the characters’ lives. Díaz and Smith point to history’s influence on shaping the identities of the characters living in a diaspora and how it is an inescapable fate.
Communities that are formed from these displaced peoples result in a diaspora. Trying to define or find a paradigm for the term diaspora is a challenge as Anthropologist James Clifford discusses in his article “Diasporas.” He explores previous discourses and definitions of diaspora where he notes the criteria is impossible to fulfill for all cultural groups, he writes, “But we should be wary of constructing our working definition of a term as diaspora by recourse to an ‘ideal type,’ with the consequence that groups become identified as more or less diasporic” (306). His perspective of diaspora “involves dwelling, maintaining communities, having collective homes away from home (and i...

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...Princeton: Princeton UP, 2010. Print.
Hall, Stuart. “Cultural Identity and Diaspora.” Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. Ed. Jonathan Rutherford. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1998. 222-37. Print.
Lanzendörfer, Tim. “The Marvelous History of the Dominican Republic in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. 38.2 (2013): 127-142. Project MUSE. Web.
Sáez, Elena Machado. “Dictating Desire, Dictating Diaspora: Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao as Foundational Romance.” Contemporary Literature 52.3 (2011): 522-55. JSTOR. Web.
Smith, Zadie. White Teeth: A Novel. New York: Random House, 2000. Epub.
Tim Lanzendörfer. “The Marvelous History of the Dominican Republic in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. 38.2 (2013): 127-142. Project MUSE. Web.
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