Craig White's Literature Courses

Terms / Themes



Transnational Migration


Throughout history and prehistory human individuals, families, and communities have often migrated, but modern communications and transportation as well as the increasing mobility of global capital have intensified and extended these traditional patterns. For millennial scholars, activists, and policy-makers, "Trans-National Migration" describes this rapid and continual displacement or relocation of persons from one country to another and, by extension, the process by which these migrants forge and sustain simultaneous multi-stranded social and economic relations between their societies of origin and settlement.

Transnational migration may constitute a third wave in modern world history as imagined by postcolonial studies (with many possible extensions and complications)

1. Colonialism / colonization: First-World or developed nations colonize or settle underdeveloped or Third-World territories, exploiting for natural resources and modernizing traditional societies.

2. Independence / Third-World nationhood / post-colonization or postcolonialism: Native peoples of colonized territories challenge colonialism, fight wars of independence, establish new nations under indigenous leadership. Colonizing peoples return to natal country or move to other colonizing opportunities.

3. Transnational migration: Formerly colonized peoples of Third World relocate to First-World nations. (This is not the only dimension of Trans-National Migration, and the other two stages continue as Neo-Colonialism.

"Transnational Migrants: When 'Home' Means More Than One Country," by Peggy Levitt (Migration Information Source)

"The assumption that people will live their lives in one place, according to one set of national and cultural norms, in countries with impermeable national borders, no longer holds. Rather, in the 21st century, more and more people will belong to two or more societies at the same time. This is what many researchers refer to as transnational migration.

"Transnational migrants work, pray, and express their political interests in several contexts rather than in a single nation-state. Some will put down roots in a host country, maintain strong homeland ties, and belong to religious and political movements that span the globe. These allegiances are not antithetical to one another."

Transnational Migration

Transnational Migration Fundamentals (from Migration Information Source)

Chinese Transnational Capital Migration

Berkeley Conference on Transnational Immigrants & Gender