Transnational Discourse: Bringing Geography Back In

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Abstract

The concept of transnationalism has become an important means of theorizing accelerated cross-border flows of commodities and people over the last two decades. Theorization has often been limited, however, through literal and homogenizing narratives of globalization processes “from above” or by poststructuralist readings emphasizing abstract spaces of movement and the margins of non-essentializing positions “from below.” This paper argues for a theoretical approach that reduces these limitations through geographical engagement with both transnational processes and discourses. Bringing geography back in on several different scales and forcing the contextualization of concepts of the hybrid and the marginal may make it possible to harness a more nuanced theorization of transnationalism to a more politically progressive agenda.

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