I wish to thank the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin for providing splendid resources and a stimulating intellectual environment where this piece was written. I am also very grateful to the following colleagues who have offered helpful comments on earlier drafts: Ayse Caglar, Josh DeWind, John Eade, Nina Glick Schiller, Felicities Hillman, Ruud Koopmans, Khalid Koser, Eva Østergaard-Nielsen, Alejandro Portes, Ludger Pries, Alisdair Rogers, Werner Schiffauer, Mario Small, Ninna Nyberg Sørensen and Andreas Wimmer.
Migrant Transnationalism and Modes of Transformation1
Article first published online: 23 FEB 2006
International Migration Review
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 970–1001, September 2004
How to Cite
Vertovec, S. (2004), Migrant Transnationalism and Modes of Transformation. International Migration Review, 38: 970–1001. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00226.x
- Issue published online: 23 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 23 FEB 2006
Much of the literature on migrant transnationalism focuses on the ways that specific sociocultural institutions have been modified in the course of being stretched across the globe. Yet migrant transnational practices are involved in more deep-seated patterns of change or structural transformation. Such modes of transformation concern: 1) an enhanced ‘bi-focality’of outlooks underpinning migrant lives lived here-and-there; such dual orientations have considerable influence on transnational family life and may continue to affect identities among subsequent post-migration generations; 2) heightened challenges to ‘identities-borders-orders’stemming from migrants' political affiliations in more than one nation-state; these particularly arise around questions of dual citizenship and nationality; and 3) potentially profound impacts on economic development by way of the sheer scale and evolving means of remittance sending; money transfer services, hometown associations and micro-finance institutions represent three kinds of remittance-related organizations currently undergoing significant forms of adaptation with significant consequences for development. These modes of transformation, and the practices of migrant transnationalism surrounding them, both draw from and contribute to wider processes of globalization.