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Diversity in Transnationalism: Surinamese Organizational Networks



This study of Surinamese organizational networks in the Netherlands examines how ethnic and religious diversity among migrants from the same “homeland” influences their transnational involvement on the collective -- that is, associational -- level. Taken together, ethnic and religious diversity were found to generate lowly institutionalized transnational activities that are narrow in scope and fleeting in duration. Diversity within the migrant group thus discourages practices that address the Surinamese state or society as a whole, while transnationalism geared at the ancestral homeland rarely goes beyond the symbolic level. By having the entire migrant organizational network in the country of residence as its sample, this article reveals not only which organizations are transnationally active, but also which ones are not. It thus avoids “sampling on the dependent variable” -- a key criticism of transnational migration scholarship.

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