Postgraduate taught 

Global Migrations & Social Justice MSc

Diaspora: The Experience of Migration, Displacement and Difference SOCIO5100

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Transnational migration is a central process in globalisation and a key experience of our contemporary world. The course introduces students to theoretical understandings of diaspora, its relationship with associated ideas such as migration, cosmopolitanism and transnationalism, and its significance as an analytical tool for understanding modern social and cultural formations. It centres on the analysis of the cultural and social concomitants of transnational migration and diaspora in the post-colonial world. While issues such as globalisation, the international division of labour and the state remain important to this, the emphasis throughout the course is upon lived experience: how different people experience and make meaningful migration, displacement and difference. The course explores the experiences of 'home', 'belonging' and 'identity' through the prism of diaspora. The course addresses how diasporic spaces, networks and practices are articulated and performed, and examines new strands of theoretical and empirical research which document transmigrants' dense material connections and other engagements with homelands.




1. A critical evaluation of a key field of applied diaspora studies 1500 words (40%)

2. An essay of 3000 words (60%)

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to core debates in diaspora studies, and the relationship of diaspora with associated ideas such as migration, cosmopolitanism and transnationalism; and to enable students to understand, assess and compare different types of diasporas, and appreciate the everyday characteristics of the cultural and transnational practices of diaspora communities. The course aims to enhance knowledge of the theoretical, methodological and policy implications of diasporic cultures and peoples.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Demonstrate an understanding of diaspora theory and its relevance to the study of contemporary sociology.

■ Critically evaluate the competing theoretical and conceptual approaches relevant to the study of diasporas.

■ Describe and assess the diverse histories of diasporic migration, settlement and transnational engagements.

■ Reflect critically on case-studies and their value to generalised understandings of social, cultural and political formations.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.