Transnational Social Field

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Arose from migration studies in the 1990s, transnationalism has become an important concept as a growing number of researchers point out that migrants tend to be unwilling to abandon their ethnic identities while adjusting to their new home (Basch et al., 1994; Glick Schiller and Fouron, 2003; Levitt, 2001; Levitt and Glick Schiller, 2004; Morawska, 2003). Glick-Schiller et. al. (1995:484) define transnationalism as the processes by which migrants forge and sustain multi-stranded social relations that link together their societies of origin and settlement. By having a relationship across borders as well as participating in transnational activities, migrants become transmigrants "whose daily lives depends on multiple and constant interconnections…show more content…
It is important to differentiate the concepts in the parameters of this research. ‘Transnational social fields encompass the practices and interpersonal relationships between migrants rather than a specific place of social practices and relationships (Glick-Schiller et al, 1992; Smith and Guarnizo, 1998; Mahler, 1998; Goldring, 1998). The concept of a social field has a theoretical foundation in Bourdieu and the Manchester School of Anthropology. Basch, Glick Schiller and Szanton Blanc (1994) define social field as a set of multiple interlocking networks of social relationships through which ideas, practices, and resources are unequally exchanged, organized, and transformed thus, social fields are multidimensional, encompassing structured interactions of differing forms, depth, and breadth that are differentiated in social theory by the terms organization, institution, and social movement. According to Glick Schiller (1994, 2003), the boundaries of a field are fluid and the field itself is created by the participants who are joined in struggle for social position. A social field may be thought of as a series of inter-connecting relationships all of which in some way influence one another and there is a sense of interdependency and overlapping of fields, not a singular set of relationships, thus one…show more content…
Often, communication among migrants and the society can create transnational fields that are specific to a migrant within a space and that can be transnational, national, regional or local. In the past, migrants had to deal with expensive calls or slow-paced post, and in some cases, communication control by the government to connect with each other. In recent years, through the advancement in communication technologies, they can communicate with their families, friends and associate abroad on a regular basis with a certain degree of privacy. Vertovec (2003) finds that “communication has considerable impact on domestic and community life, inter-generational and gender relations, religious and other cultural practices, and local economic development in both migrant sending and migrant-receiving contexts”. Research shows that improvement in communication technology has positively impacted transnational relationship (Horst 2006; Parreñas 2005; Senyurekli & Detzner 2009). The Internet has become a great tool for migrants to reinforce their identity as member of groups from the homeland and to integrate into the host society (Hiller & Franz, 2004; Parker & Song, 2006; Peeters & D’Haenens, 2005). Furthermore, social media can have a tremendous impact on migration as it facilitates social ties between individuals (Haythornthwaite, 2002; Komito, 2011; Dekker and
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