Paolo Boccagni

Transnationalism in social theory and in migrants' everyday lives

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: transnationalism, identities, social relationships, social practices, transnational social fields

The article approaches transnationalism both in its theoretical underpinnings and from the viewpoint of immigrants' relationships and belongings at distance, emerging in their everyday lives. Despite its growing currency, the transnational perspective is still in need of a few significant clarifications. Building on a relational definition, and comparing it with the ones prevailing in migration literature, the article argues for an analytical framework which focuses on migrants' ties at distance in terms of identities, relationships and practices. After a synthesis of the main criticisms addressed to the transnational perspective, the latter's key notions are contrasted with the pre-existent theoretical tools in migration studies, showing both commonalities and novel features. The scope for further theoretical elaboration is prospected at last - concerning, on the one hand, the distinction between the public and the private dimension of immigrant transnationalism; on the other hand, the relationships between social action in a proximity setting and in an "at a distance" one.

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