Faculty of Arts


Asian Diasporas


The history of Asian migration to the New and Old Worlds is long and their legacies are visible in their host countries including here in Aotearoa. Recently, they are also the fastest growing migrants in many countries. In particular, “Asians” – diverse groups of peoples who (or whose ancestors) are originally from Asian countries - form an important part of today’s world of diasporas. Considering such realities, this course deals with the social, cultural, political and historical issues of the migrations and migration experiences of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese diasporas. In so doing, our focus would be:

  1. the diverse adaptation patterns of the groups to host societies;
  2. racial/ethnic relationships between diasporas and the peoples of host societies;
  3. evolving relationships between diasporic groups and their ethnic homelands; and
  4. impacts of diasporic life experiences on their identities.

In fact, increasing international migrations, transnational life-styles, hybrid cultures and multiple and versatile identities are some of the most notable characteristics of today’s world, leading to a growth in recent attention on diasporas. Studying the histories, economic, cultural, and social adaptations of these groups helps us to deepen our understandings of today’s culturally, socially and economically dynamic world. Focusing on the three major groups of Asian diasporas (Chinese, Korean and Japanese), we will explore the following topics in this course:

  • Historical, economic, political and cultural backgrounds of Chinese, Korean and Japanese diasporas considering the environments of both the sending and receiving countries as well as the agency of migrants themselves
  • Recent trends in international migrations such as international labour migrations, international marriage migrations, ethnic return migrations and the growing multiculturalism within Asian countries
  • Their cultural, social and economic adaptations to host societies, the racial/ethnic relationships they form in their host societies, and their impacts on the development of identities 
  • Relationships between diasporic communities and their ethnic homelands and the latter’s policies toward their diasporas overseas

Upon finishing this course, you would have good understanding of the important aspects of Asian diasporas including their history, social and cultural adaptations, identities, and the relationship with their ethnic homelands.


Coursework only

Availability 2021

Semester 1


Lecturer(s) Dr Changzoo Song


Readings will be available through CANVAS/Talis.


ASIAN 204: 15.0 points


45 points at Stage I in BA courses or 45 points in BGlobalSt courses



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