29th Nov2012


by jessicawalker

What’s a nation state and how is it different from nation?

Both works emphasize how transnational subject must negotiate between a territoriality that locates national belonging within a nations’ borders and the flow of ideas, capital, and identity beyond those borders. Although I understand that everything can be located in a global system I am still unsure about people how construct identities divorced from these overt expressions of transnationalism. I am really asking a methodological question in terms of my own research: How do you deploy or integrate a transnational analytical framework within communities that don’t conceptualize their material existence within those frameworks?

Basch notes the focus of work on transmigrants is how they identify and are indentified “in terms of race, ethnicity, and nation.” This is not a critique of absence but what would gender as a added category look like in this analysis? Or a consideration of sex and sexuality as a tool for nation building, gendered divisions of certain labor that are masculinized. We often imagined it to be male laborers migrating when in fact although the labor is masculinzed it is mostly labored performed by women.

Basch, Glick Schiller, and Szanton Blanc note that certain transnational subjects have the ability to “live transnationally as a way to accommodate the controlling forcers of capitalism and “their place within the global racial order.” What do those without this “ability” do to accommodate these forces. I am confused by this ability.. is it an ability of financial means where I can afford to move back and forth between two physical places or is it an ability of virtuality and imagination? To imagine a homeland one has never physically visited, engage civilly in the political climate in this virtual place as well as contribute to local activities that promote your national loyalty and cultural belonging. Although I understand its precisely the complexity of the lived experiences and conceptions of nation that the transnational subject must negotiate it also seems as if there is a distinction, differentiation, and perhaps inequality with the abilities to accommodate coercive global forces.

Space: A infinite processes whereby interconnecting systems of global, social, cultural and embodied knowledges inform the value of place. Space is a right.

Place: Fixed in the material and moving freely. Facilitated by place marking objects like maps.

Identity: The processes of having the ability to sense your presence in space—to know you are alive. How you make sense of places’ relationships to the idea of individualism.

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