For my PhD research I am writing about the metaphorical displacement of people (as in "they drove me out of their group", "he was snatched away before his time"). Essentially there are a variety of synonyms I use going from dislocation, to delocalization, deportation, forced migration, and exile (though exile is a bit different).

The one I use most often is delocalization. So here is my question

  1. Is delocalization an understandable term?
  2. Does it have an antonym? That antonym would have to mean something as 'the attachment of people to a place.' I have been using the word localization so far, but somehow I feel might be more about locating something or someone, rather than attaching oneself to a location.
  • Not just exile, each one is different from the other, especially in the context you seem to refer to. – Kris Jan 24 '14 at 13:04

Is there an antonym for the word dislocation?

In legal or medical usage the antonym for dislocation is relocation.

Governments and diplomats use the term voluntary return or repatriation.


As the OP states that it is a doctoral research paper, it is appropriate to use formal expression, though they may not be widely used in general English writing. Furthermore, a pair of antonyms that derived from the same root may be always a good choice. Both the following may be used as verbs & adjectives, and (the past tense?) with the definite article, as nouns.


2. To displace from one's native or accustomed environment.


Generation X’s parents expected a job for life, but with few exceptions Gen Xers never had that — they’re used to nomadic employment, hire-and-fire, right-to-work laws, the whole nine yards of organized-labour deracination.

The antonym (formed, interestingly, by backformation from the above) is not a recognized word:

Racinated/racination is a back-formation from the word deracinate, which means to uproot or remove from a natural habitat and is sometimes applied to the moving of people from their homeland to a foreign place. Racinated, then, indicates rootedness or the state of being in one's native environment.

This word is more commonly used in its derived forms, rarely ever by itself.

...Obama has been promoting the multiplicity of his origins as a qualification for leadership. This strikes me as little more than identity politics, but with a cunning refinement: Instead of being representative of one thing, he is representative of all things. He is typical of everybody, the most racinated American of all.

See also, Ng & Holden; Meskell (ed.), – both use scare quotes.

[There will be a strong protest to the suggestion of the non-word racinate, here on ELU, I'm sure. However, I believe it would only be appropriate in the OP's specialized context.]


To me as a non-native speaker (of German descend) delocalization is perfectly understandable.

The counterpart of being outcast/dismissed/dislocated is not just being located but belonging there. So my suggestions would be

inclusion - When talking about not being delocalized from a group

presence or existence - When talking about not being absent

In general you want to stress the role the person plays by not being away.


Delocalization does not carry the weight in meaning as forced exile in my own semantics--its meaning infers mere migration. Repatriation is the best antonym I can think of.

  • Repatriation just means bringing something or someone back to their native country (or country of residence); that's quite different from what the asker is looking for. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 26 '14 at 11:18

I would strongly recommend against using localization. The word has several differing usages. See for instance wikipedia.enter link description here One rather commonly used is to prepare materials for a different language or culture. That's clearly not what you mean here. While your meaning is comprehensible, it might be better to pick a word that does not have the other connotations.

I might suggest the phrase settling in versus being displaced or the odd construct.

Or the rarer spelling of emplacement as implacement which appears in the OED with this meaning (other than the gun-platform meaning):

The action of placing in a certain position; the condition of being so placed.

But since the word is obscure and roughly similar to what you suggest you could use the rarer spelling after giving a definition early on. Then, the reader will have no chance of confusion as to its use.

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