by Mandy Blakeman
Transnationalism is both a theoretical and an economic concept that develops an understanding of many present-day issues related to migration and multiculturalism, or the existence of distinct cultural identities. Transnationalism is also relevant to the study of diaspora, meaning the dispersion of a distinct ethnic, racial, or religious group from their ancestral homeland. Moreover, Transnationalism refers to the ways people are connected between and beyond physical national borders, which has a range of applications in economics, anthropology, politics, and literary theory. In postcolonial theory, this connection allows for the exchange of goods, services, and ideas between nations. Transnationalism is a reflection of the decreasing power of individual nations in a globalized world. Globalization, as distinct from transnationalism, is the symbiotic relationship between the nations of the modern, interconnected world on an economic level. Diaspora has been pointed to as the root cause of transnational phenomena. Developed by theorists such as Paul Gilroy, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Robin Cohen, transnationalism also applies to more fluid conceptions of self, known as transnational identity, acknowledging the presence of immigrants and their families who embrace multiple identities in their experience of multiple cultures. Transnationalism, therefore, is a useful tool in describing the interlocking nature of economics, culture and society, and politics.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands = la frontera : the new mestiza . Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987.
Robinson, William I. A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.
Vertovec, Steven. “Transnationalism and Identity.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, 2001, pp. 573–582., www.tandfonline.com/doi/citedby/10.1080/13691830120090386?scroll=top&needAccess=true.
Willis, Catherine. “Transnational Theory.” Institute for Research and Debate on Governance, 2005, www.institut-gouvernance.org/en/analyse/fiche-analyse-37.html.
Aguiar, Marian, et al. "Postcolonial Studies and Diaspora Studies." The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, edited by Michael Ryan, Wiley, 1st edition, 2011. Credo Reference, http://libproxy.union.edu/login?auth=shibboleth&url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/wileylitcul/postcolonial_studies_and_diaspora_studies/0?institutionId=5120. Accessed 03 Mar. 2021.
Dworkin, Dennis. "Gilroy, Paul." The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, edited by Michael Ryan, Wiley, 1st edition, 2011. Credo Reference, http://libproxy.union.edu/login?auth=shibboleth&url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/wileylitcul/gilroy_paul/0?institutionId=5120. Accessed 03 Mar. 2021.
Longley, Robert. “What Is Transnationalism? Definition, Pros, and Cons.” ThoughtCo, 2020, www.thoughtco.com/what-is-transnationalism-definition-pros-and-cons-5073163.
Maus, Derek C. "Globalization." The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, edited by Michael Ryan, Wiley, 1st edition, 2011. Credo Reference, http://libproxy.union.edu/login?auth=shibboleth&url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/wileylitcul/globalization/0?institutionId=5120. Accessed 03 Mar. 2021.