chapter  5
16 Pages

Emplacement and Environmental Relations in Multi-sited Practice/Theory

Conducting research on a transnational topic poses the challenge to researchers of finding a good balance between depth and breadth. Transnational phenomena, by their very nature, cross nation-state borders-be they related to people, ideas, goods, or institutions. The Ghana TransNet research programme examined how migrants' transnational networks affect the principles and institutions on which local economies are based. The research programme takes migrants' simultaneous engagement in two or more countries directly into account methodologically. Working with networks rather than households or kinship groups as our unit of analysis taught us that kin relationships are not necessarily the most important. This chapter has reviewed some of the main characteristics of SMS methodology: working in teams, in multiple sites simultaneously, and with networks. However, the main advantages of SMS methodology are its ability to address the most important challenge of researching transnational topics: that of bridging the boundaries between depth of information and breadth of research sites.