29th Nov2012

Transational space

by felixburgos

1. It is really interesting the conceptualization of transnationalism as proposed by Bash et al. However, there is something that is still not clear to me. It seems that the authors think about migrants who have the “possibility” of participating in nation-building processes of the (countries, nations, places, spaces?) they formerly and currently inhabit. But what about those who are denied such participation in the “host” country? Here I am referring to undocumented immigrants. If I’m getting the correct idea, the situation of undocumented immigrants must be considered part of the hegemonic constructions in the society. However, could we possible think that the ways in which transnational actions develop could be highly dependent on the legal status of the immigrant?

2. A personal story: This is my fifth year in the US. Perhaps, I’ll stay for some more years in this country (depending mainly on how fast I finish my PhD studies). I do not really think that I will be living in the country once this academic process is over (but I cannot really promise anything). Anyways, that’s not the point. My point is that it could be possible that there are different ways in which diaspora is experienced. It is possible that temporary students (like myself) look for spaces (in the community, in the internet) to “foster (our) sense of belonging” (p. 259); but those spaces might be different from migrants who have already settled in the “host” country. The interesting thing about all this situation is that in hegemonic processes there is no distinction between being a transmigrant PhD student or a transmigrant individual who does landscaping; but I think that not all diasporas try to get together to find common bonds, solidarity or support.

The Transnational Space: According to Basch et al., this term refers to the social location where migrants develop a multiplicity of involvements (social, economical, cultural, and political) in both home and host societies (p. 7). Therefore, we could consider that in such “social location” or “space” different processes of identity construction take place.

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