chapter  1
14 Pages

Transnationalism, international migration and home NADJE A L - ALI AND KHALID KO SER

Taken as a whole, the contributions in this volume answer the question ‘what is new?’ in three main ways. First, they show how a transnational perspective can result in genuinely new insights into both historical and contemporary international migration. Importantly, every contribution in the volume is based on detailed empirical research, and so the impacts of transnationalism are identified in practice – in the everyday lives of migrants – rather than, as is so often the case, in theory only. Second, these empirical case studies in turn cast a fresh, and often critical, light upon the concept of transnationalism. For example, they move beyond the essentializing tendency that has dominated studies of transnationalism, to show how it has different meanings for different people at different times of their lives. Finally, the real novelty of this particular volume lies in its focus on home. The changing relationship between migrants and their ‘homes’ is held to be an almost quintessential characteristic of transnational migration, and the dynamics of this relationship form the central focus of each of the contributions to this volume.