Transnationalism Chicana/o style

Authored by: Karin Ikas

Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847873
eBook ISBN: 9781315726366
Adobe ISBN:


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Definitions of transnationalism generally focus on exchanges, connections, relationships, and practices across borders that transcend the national space as the principal reference point for activities and identities. In a sociological context, transnationalism is also referred to as a process in which cultural and physical flows move across national borders (Kearney 1995, pp. 547–565). Randolph Bourne first used the term in a hyphenated version in his entry ‘Trans-National America’ for the Atlantic Monthly in 1916. In their significant contributions to the field, Linda Basch, Nina Glick-Schiller, and Christina Szanton-Blanc (1992) perceive transnationalism as “a process by which migrants, through their daily activities create social fields that cross national boundaries” (p. 22). More broadly, Steve Vertovec defines it as the “multiple ties and interactions linking people or institutions across the borders of the nation-states” (1999, p. 447). In recent years, a large international and interdisciplinary scholarship has provided further insights on transnationalism as theory, concept, and experience. For some notable studies and collections see Vertovec (2009), Pease, Fluck, and Rowe (2011), Hebel (2012), and Kaltmeier (2013). An important forum for the contemporary debate on transnationalism is The Journal of Transnational American Studies. Lately, Nina Morgan, in her introduction to a recent special issue of the journal entitled A Community of Thought: Connecting with Transnationalism (2016) viewed “recent global events such as the European Union referendum or ‘Brexit’” as further proof “that transnational issues are at the forefront of today’s political dynamics” (p. 1).

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