Dual citizenship or dual identity? Does ‘transnationalism’ supplant ‘nationalism’ among returning Trinidadians?



In this article we focus on the dual identities of relatively young Trinidadians who have decided to return to the island of their birth, or of their parents, while still in their thirties and forties. Highly-educated professional transnational migrants mostly make up our sample of 36; 26 possess dual citizenship. We focus on our informants’ narratives about their transnational experiences, self-appraisals of their dual identities and how they value dual citizenship. More generally, we ask, does transnationalism supplant nationalism among our returning informants? Unsurprisingly, the diverse responses we document do not support the commonly held explanatory relationship between return adaptations, ‘national belonging’ and the expected dominance of ‘transnational belonging’. Family relations intervene significantly, both to encourage transnationalism and to strengthen nationalism. Feelings of national belonging often accompany transnationalism. Notably, we view dual citizenship strategically and pragmatically as advantageous to the continuation of transnational practices.