As the boundaries that denote our physical spaces and group identities become more blurred, individuals may become more and less tied to their imaginaries of home and ethnicity — while we, as human beings, seems to always have the desire to “go home,” the construction and idea of what it means to be “home” is changing in a new, complex way due to the technology, and therefore, mass migrations that we are seeing in today’s world.
In the article, the authors mention Clifford’s question: “What does it mean, at the end of the twentieth century, to speak . . . of a ‘native land’?” (9). At 8 months old, I was adopted from Hunan, China, and brought to the United States of America by two white parents. While I have few memories of China (thanks to a two week visit) and many memories of growing up in America, the question of what my “native land” is becomes complicated. Due to my physical appearance, many would infer that my “native land” is one in Asia. My memories and experiences, however, tell me otherwise. To others, my identity is certainly more tied to my group identity, while to myself, my identity becomes a complex, blurred thing tied both to my physical space thanks to growing up in America and also having a Chinese heritage. What I identify as my culture as a Chinese American, therefore, “cease[s] to be plausibly identifiable on a map” as a single location (11). I also wonder what it means to lack what Gupta and Ferguson call a single “remembered place,” an imaginary home (11). Home, for me, is two places, halfway across the world from each other. As an adoptee, I belong fully in neither place, but still hold agency to call both places my home. In both, I am insider and outsider, neither fully one nor the other. As our society becomes more and more interconnected and globalized, it seems that the emphasis on “remembering where you came from” still holds true. However, this idea of “home,” for many, can take on many different constructions, and I wonder, with the incredible speed and capabilities we have today for various types of migration, if “home” will eventually cease to be tied to a single physical entity, and instead, become more tied to an individual’s unique history in our global society.