Uncovering Attributes of an Internal Islands Diaspora – James Hutton Institute & University of Aberdeen

A transnational migration lens has shaped diaspora research in recent decades. Yet exploring diasporas in the context of moves across international borders has obscured sub-national diasporas, and this has led to a gap in our understanding of how such groups can and do contribute to their communities of origin. This article aims to develop a better understanding of the Scottish islands diaspora and to explore its potential to contribute to island communities, including via internal return migration. This article present findings from a survey conducted with the Scottish islands diaspora to illustrate how internal diasporas can exhibit continued connection to a ‘homeland’. This includes taking an active interest in a ‘home’ island’s future and participating in shared cultural practices that bind individuals together within the diaspora over a sustained period. It finds that the Scottish islands diaspora carries many of the hallmarks of its transnational counterparts and highlight how this group has the potential to contribute to the future of Scotland’s islands both at a distance and, potentially, via return migration.

 

You can read the full article here.