ABSTRACT

A growing literature has examined the prevalence of transnational engagement among children of immigrants worldwide. However, the research strongly focused on Asian, Latin American and Caribbean second-generation migrants. Many of these researchers suggest that transnational connections may carry over to the second generation at symbolic levels, but when it comes to concrete transnational actions, the practice shows a marked decline. In this paper, I present the experiences of second-generation Ethiopian Americans. While I agree that symbolic transnationalism is relevant for some second-generation Ethiopians, I also found that they are involved in tangible transnational activities, which include philanthropic involvements, advancing a positive image of Ethiopia in the United States, and taking part in homeland politics. My study examines second-generation Ethiopians variegated transnational engagements, the motivating factors, and how their transnational activities are very much related to, but also different from, the cross-border pursuits of their parents.