Whatever Happened to Simultaneity? Transnational Migration Theory and Dual Engagement in Sending and Receiving Countries

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57 Scopus citations

Abstract

The transnationalism literature has focused on the transborder social networks that immigrants in the receiving country maintain with their sending countries and has not sufficiently examined how such transborder connections enable them to become simultaneously engaged in both nation-states. This paper argues that simultaneity is an important part of transnationalism that distinguishes it from long-distance nationalism. We therefore need to more extensively analyse how immigrants' transborder involvement in their home country simultaneously affects their participation in the host country. I suggest four ways in which the dynamic relationship between home- and host-country engagement can be conceived. The first is a zero-sum relationship, where increased engagement in one country leads to decreased involvement in the other. The second involves the side-by-side co-existence of sending- and receiving-country engagement without one directly influencing the other. The third is a positively reinforcing relationship, where increased engagement in one country leads to increased involvement in the other. The final option is a negatively reinforcing relationship. I illustrate these four types of transnational simultaneity with examples of migrant socio-economic, political, cultural and identity transnationalism. Finally I discuss their implications for the long-term engagement of immigrants in both sending and receiving countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-649
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

Keywords

  • Assimilation
  • Immigration
  • Migration
  • Transborder
  • Transnational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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