Reflection and Analysis of Stuart Hall's “Cultural Identity and Diaspora”
Stuart McPhail Hall’s works show that growing up in the pigmentocracy of the colonial West Indies, where he was of darker skin than much of his family, had a profound effect on his views of the world. He had interest in Caribbean history and literature as a student, which might have also influenced his career.
The complex modernities of ethnicity, nationality, and belonging outlined by Hall rewrite traditional perspectives on those categories. Hall inscribes the foundational framework of the Caribbean as the locus classicus of diaspora, such that this double diasporization of the Caribbean population engenders an analytical and discursive interrogation of identity and its corollaries that leads to a critical rereading of existing models of nation and belonging. In outlining and defining a new Caribbean re-diasporization whose amorphous geographical boundaries locate its subjects in an explicitly transnational and transformative space of change and renewal, Hall draws on Caribbean communities both at home and abroad to rewrite the boundaries of diaspora as a concept.
It stands for the endless ways in which Caribbean people have been destined to ‘migrate’; it is the signifier of migration itself- of travelling, voyaging and return as fate, as destiny; of the Antillean as the prototype of the modern or postmodern New World nomad, continually moving between centre and periphery. 234)
The increased complexity between the local and the global, as well as its effect on the idea of nationhood and the native identity is one of the most distinctive features in postnational and transnational contexts. Cultural identities are never static; rather, they constantly change, without the limitations of special boundaries.
Stuart Hall, ‘Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms’ , in Tony Bennett, et al. (eds.), Culture, Ideology and Social Process, London, Batsford/Open University Press, 1981, p30.
Hall, ‘Culture, the Media and the “Ideological Effect”’, loc. cit., p324