From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration Author(s): Nina Glick Schiller, Linda Basch, Cristina Szanton Blanc

Source: Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 48-63 Published by: The George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research Stable URL: Accessed: 03/04/2009 02:49
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NINA GLICK SCHILLER University of New Hampshire LINDA BASCH Wagner College CRISTINA SZANTON BLANC Columbia University Contemporary immigrants can not be characterized as the "uprooted." Many are transmigrants, becoming firmly rooted in their new country but maintaining multiple linkages to their homeland. In the United States anthropologists are engaged in building a transnational anthropology and rethinking their data on immigration. Migration proves to be an important transnational process that reflects and contributes to the current political configurations of the emerging global economy. In this article we use our studies of migration from St. Vincent, Grenada, the Philippines, and Haiti to the U.S. to delineate some of the parameters of an ethnography of transnational migration and explore the reasons for and the implications of transnational migrations. We conclude that the transnational connections of immigrants provide a subtext of the public debates in the U.S. about the merits of immigration. [transnationalism, immigration, nation-state, nationalism, identity] In the United States several generations of researchers have viewed immigrants as persons who uproot themselves, leave behind home and country, and face the painful process of incorporation into a different society and culture (Handlin 1973[1951]; Takaki 1993). A new concept of transnational migration is emerging, however, that questions this long-held conceptualization of immigrants, suggesting that in both the U.S. and Europe, increasing numbers of immigrants are best understood as "transmigrants." Transmigrants are immigrants whose daily lives depend on multiple and constant interconnections across international borders and whose public identities are configured in relationship to more than one nation-state (Glick Schiller et al. 1992a; Basch et al. 1994). They are not sojourners because they settle and become incorporated in the economy and political institutions, localities, and patterns of daily life of the country in which they reside. However, at the very same time, they are engaged elsewhere in the sense that they maintain connections, build institutions, conduct transactions, and influence local and national events in the countries from which they emigrated. Transnational migration is the process by which immigrants forge and sustain simultaneous multi-stranded social relations that link together their societies of origin and settlement. In identify48 ing a new process of migration, scholars of transnational migration emphasize the ongoing and continuing ways in which current-day immigrants construct and reconstitute their simultaneous embeddedness in more than one society. The purpose of this article is to delineate the parameters of an ethnography of transnational migration and use this anthropology to explore the ways in which the current debate on immigration in the U.S. can be read as a nation-state building project that delimits and constrains the allegiances and loyalties of transmigrants. Once we reframe the concept of immigrant and examine the political factors which have shaped the image of immigrants as the uprooted, a whole new approach to understandingimmigrants and the current debate about immigration becomes possible. Three vignettes of discontinuities we have observed between the transnational practices of immigrants and common assumptions about immigrants made by scholars, members of the public, the media and public officials experts illustrate the myopic view of immigrants demonstrated in much public debate. The vignettes point to the need to redefine our terminology and reformulate some of our basic conceptualizations of the current immigrant experience.

Towards a Transnational Anthropology
A large numberof Filipinohouseholdsare transnational with individuals,resources,goods, and services moving back and forth between the U.S., the Philippines,and other countries. Decisionsthat affectthe daily lives of household members are made across national borders.Yet Szanton Blanc noted, while participating with census organizersand Filipinoimmithat precededthe adgrantsliving in New York in discussions ministrationof the 1990 U.S. Census, that census questions of about householdsdid not reflectthe transnationalism these The populations.1 questionsassumedthat all Filipinosresided in the U.S. permanently, havingcut their ties with their countries of origin. The partial characterof many of the Filipino in householdslocated in the U.S. that participated the census interviewwas not recognized. The frequencyof travelbetween betweenhousehold the two countries,the ongoingrelationships membersliving in both locations marked by a constant exof change of funds and resources,and the organization activities acrossborderswere not examined.Hence, officialsof governmentaland civic institutionsoften formulatepolicies and capturethe programsbased on census data that inadequately structureand mode of operationof many contemporary immigrant households.



At a dinnerrecentlyGlick Schillerlistenedwhile internationaldevelopment expertsdebatedthe degreeto whichland in the Haitiancountryside cultivatedby squatters. was These specialistsdid not consultwith the only Haitianat the table. They did not expecthim to be familiarwith questionsof land tenure in Haiti because he was an authorityon Haitian cosmology who had been living in the U.S. since he was a teenager.What they did not consider was that the Haitian scholar and his brotherownedland in Haiti and that the two brothershad newith the squatterswho livedon gotiateda workingrelationship that land. Like so many Haitians in the U.S., the Haitian scholarrelatesto Haiti throughdiverseand ongoingsocial and class relationships that influencehis stance towardsdevelopment in Haiti. Expertson Haiti routinelyignorethe impactof transnational migrationon all aspects of Haitian society, into cluding Haiti's relationship the U.S.

At Expo 1993, a trade and culturalfair in Brooklyn sponsoredby the Caribbean AmericanChamberof Commerce that Baschattended,one of the panelsexploredthe extent to which the curriculum New York City schoolsgives voice to Afriin can-Caribbean African-American and experiences.It soon became clear that manyimmigrant familiesopt to send theirchildren to privateWest Indian schools in New York where the curriculum reflectsboth Caribbeanand U.S. experiences, preexistence.Indeed,many paringchildrento live a transnational West Indianyoungstersare sent home to the West Indies for part of their educations.However,public officialsengaged in curriculum often do not recognizethat the socialidevelopment zation of many transmigrant childrentakes place in an interconnected social space encompassingboth the immigrants' West Indianhome societiesand the U.S.

In the 1960s the word "transnational" was widely used by students of economic processes to refer to the establishment of corporate structures with established organizational bases in more than one state (Martinelli 1982). In a separate intellectual tradition several generations of scholars had been using the adjective "transnational" to signal an abatement of national boundaries and the development of ideas or political institutions that spanned national borders; it is this usage that can be found in standard dictionaries. For example, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, defining the term as "extending or going beyond national boundaries" (1976: 2430), provides two examples. The first from the New Republic magazine speaks of the "abatement of nationalism and the creation of transnational institutions which will render boundaries of minor importance." In the second citation Edward Sapir reports that "by the diffusion of culturally important words transnationalvocabularies have grown up." The recent use of the adjective "transnational" in the social sciences and cultural studies draws together the various meanings of the word so that the restructuring of capital globally is seen as linked to the diminished significance of national boundaries in the production and distribution of objects, ideas, and people. Transnational processes are increasingly seen as part of a broader phenomenon of globalization, marked by the demise of the nationstate and the growth of world cities that serve as key nodes of flexible capital accumulation, communication, and control (Knox 1994; Knight and Gappert 1989). In anthropology2there has been a renewed interest in the flows of culture and population across national borders, reviving, in a new global and theoretical context, past interests in cultural diffusion.3Many contributorsto this scholarly trend see it as part of an effort to reconfigure anthropological thinking so that it will reflect current transformations in the way in which time and space is experienced and represented (Appadurai 1990, 1991; Gupta and Ferguson 1992; Kearney 1991a, 1991b; Hannerz 1989, 1990). Appadurai has stated that ethnography now has the task of determining "the nature of locality, as lived experience, in a globalized, deterritorialized world" (1991: 196). He has further argued that there is a need to reconceptualize the "landscapes of group identity," a need that flows from the current world


ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY QUARTERLY ANTHROPOLOGICAL the infrastructure of transportation, education, health services are stripped away from those countries, and sections of countries and cities, defined as superfluous to the newly defined circuits of wealth and power. Attacks on the infrastructure take the form of structural adjustment programs in debtor countries and calls for reduced taxes and public spending in capital exporting countries such as the U.S. The conditions for migration in a myriad of economically peripheral states have been set by the intensive penetration of foreign capital into the economy and political processes of "post-colonial" countries in the 1960s and 1970s, and the subsequent massive growth of indebtedness and economic retrenchment. Faced with wide-spread deterioration in their standards of living, professionals, skilled workers, unskilled workers, merchants, and agricultural producers all have fled to global cities or to countries such as the U.S. that still play central roles in capital accumulation. However, once in these countries, immigrants confront a deepening economic crisis that often limits the economic possibilities and security many are able to obtain. Moreover, those sectors of the current immigrant population who find themselves racialized as "Hispanic," "Asian," or "Black" find that even if they obtain a secure position, they face daily discrimination in the pursuit of their life activities. Observing the permeability of borders and boundaries signaled by this form of migration, some observers have begun to speak of the demise of the nation-state's ability to form and discipline its subjects (Kearney 1991a). However, the task of creating capitalist subjects, and the task of governing populations who will work in and accept the world of vastly increased inequalities of wealth and power, continues to reside primarily in different and unequal states. Financial interests and transnational conglomerates continue to rely on the legitimacy and legal, fiscal, and policing structures of the nation-state.5 There are, however, changes precipitated by this emerging form of migration. We are entering an era in which states that can claim dispersed populations construct themselves as "deterritorialized nation-states" (Basch et al. 1994); states that continue to be bases of capital rather than the homeland of migrants respond in ways that tighten rather than transgress territorial boundaries. The hegemonic political ethic of the U.S. continues to demand that citizens, both native born and naturalized, swear allegiance only to the

conjuncture in which "groups are no longer tightly territorialized, spatially bounded, historically unselfconscious, or culturally homogeneous" (p. 191).4 Migration is one of the important means through which borders and boundaries are being contested and transgressed (Kearney 1991a; Rouse 1991, 1992). Anthropologists who work with migrants have much to contribute to our understanding of a new paradox: that the growth and intensification of global interconnection of economic processes, people, and ideas is accompanied by a resurgence in the politics of differentiation. When we study migration rather than abstract cultural flows or representations, we see that transnational processes are located within the life experience of individuals and families, making up the warp and woof of daily activities, concerns, fears, and achievements. Reasons for Transnational Migration Three conjoining potent forces in the current global economy lead present day immigrants to settle in countries that are centers of global capitalism but to live transnational lives: (1) a global restructuring of capital based on changing forms of capital accumulation has lead to deteriorating social and economic conditions in both labor sending and labor receiving countries with no location a secure terrain of settlement; (2) racism in both the U.S. and Europe contributes to the economic and political insecurity of the newcomers and their descendants; and (3) the nation building projects of both home and host society build political loyalties among immigrants to each nation-state in which they maintain social ties. Capitalism from its beginnings has been a system of production dependent on global interconnections between the people of the world. Today we are facing a reconstitution of the structure of accumulation so that not only are profits accumulated globally, but all parts of the world have been incorporated into a single system of production, investment, communication, coordination, staffing, production, and distribution (Sassen 1994). In this global context there is less incentive to invest in entire national economies. It has become more profitable to base global operations in certain cities and regions that are emerging as centers of communication and organization (Sassen 1991). Capital is being channeled into key sectors and regions while

FROM IMMIGRANTTO TRANSMIGRANT U.S. and define their political identity within its dominant forcesin laborsendborders. Meanwhile, states imagine their states to exist wherever ing their emigrantshave been incorporated. Memoriesof Things Past: The Issue of History Studies and Memoryin Immigration It is useful to recall the socially and historically natureof the conceptof nation-state constructed to understand this aspect of transnational migration. Recent scholarship made it clear that nationhas states are relatively new inventionsthat can be linkedto the development capitalismand to the of type of politicaland economicloyaltiesthat serve the needs of dominantclasses and strata within modern centralized states (Hobsbawm 1990; Gellner 1983). Nation-stateswere constructedas classesand elite strata,strivingto maintainor contend for state power, popularized memoriesof a sharedpast and usedthis historical narrative auto thenticateand validatea commonality purpose of and nationalinterests(Anderson 1991[1983]).This process of constructing and shaping collective memoriescan be called nation-state building.Key to nation-statebuildingas a politicalprocesshas been the construction a myth that each nationof state containedwithinit a single peopledefinedby their residencein a commonterritory,their undivided loyalty to a commongovernment, their and shared cultural heritage. In the past immigrants wereforcedto abandon, forget,or denytheirties to home and in subsequent generationsmemoriesof transnational connections were erased. There is evidencethat in variousways and to different degrees, dispersed populationswhether of they werediasporas Jews (Clifford1994), Palestinians (Gonzalez 1992), or "old world" immigrants to the U.S. (Portes and Rumbaut 1990), maintained networks interconnection. of Many immigrantsfromEuropewho settledin the late nineteenth and early twentieth century maintained family ties, sendingboth lettersand money(Metzker 1971; Thomas and Znaniecki 1927). Italians returnedhome to land purchasedthrough labor abroad (di Leonardi 1984). The Czechs and Slovacks (Witke 1940), Hungarians (Vassady 1982), and Irish (Highamand Brooks1978) were among the many immigratingpopulationswho built strongnationalist in movements Europefrom a base in the U.S. These ties were discountedand obscuredby


the narratives nation that were prevalentuntil of the current period of globalization.Assumptions about the uprootedness immigrants of filteredthe in which immigrant was recorded, inhistory way At terpreted,and remembered.6 the heart of the metaphorof "America the melting pot" was a model of immigrantsettlement in which immithe grantseschewed nationalidentityas well as the customsand languageof their birth.However, the into ruptureof home ties or their transformation sentimentratherthan connection also a central is of aspectof pluralistand multicultural imaginings America in which immigrant groups are encouragedto preservetheir culture, custom, and in moidentityyet be fully embedded an American saic (Glazer and Moynihan 1970[1963]; Takaki 1989, 1993). Whetherthe imageryhas beenone of assimilation into a newly emergentAmericanculinto a culturally diverse ture, or incorporation America,in the U.S. the forgingof an American has to nationality beenand continues be the underconcernthat unitedall discourse aboutimmilying Whathas beenuniformly defined unacas gration.7 ceptable was a migrationin which immigrants settled permanentlyin their new country while maintainingties to countries they still saw as homelands.And yet this is an emergingpattern setamongmany immigrant populations currently tling in the U.S.8 A brief recountingof the Americanization studiescommissioned the CarnegieCorporation by in 1918 can serve to illustrateboth the types of transnational that were mainpoliticalconnections tained by previousgenerations immigrants of settled in the U.S. and the processesby which these connections were discounted historically and obliterated. The studies were commissionedduring WorldWar I becausethe home ties and political of from engagement large numbersof immigrants raised questionsabout the allegianceand Europe loyalty of immigrants.9Researcherswere surrounded and reported evidenceof transnational by of with their home socieengagement immigrants ties. Forexample,RobertPark,whosenameis usually linked to the Carnegiestudies, only became head of the entireprojectwhen HerbertAdolphus Miller,who had been leadingthe studies,and who was Chairof the SociologyDepartment Oberlin at Collegein Ohio, resignedin orderto devotemore time to organizing Leagueof CentralEuropean the Nations (Rausenbush ties 1979). Yet transnational wereonly notedin passingand negatively valuedin


52 ANTHROPOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY QUARTERLY the same time parties,factions,and leaderswithin many countrieswhichcan claim dispersed populations have lookedto their diasporas a globalreas sourceand constituency. Althoughthey seemingly rupture boundaries and borders, contemporary transnational culturalprocessesand movements of people,ideas, and capital have been accompanied by an increasein an identitypoliticsthat is a celebrationof a nation.We are witnessing simultathe neousgrowthof globalizing and processes the preeminence of exclusive, bounded, essentialized nationalisms(Appadurai1993; Anderson 1992). This is a momentin which large numbers peoof ple, no longerrootedin a single place, go to great or lengths to revitalize,reconstruct, reinventnot only their traditionsbut their political claims to territoryand historiesfrom which they have been these "longdistancenationaldisplaced.Moreover ists" (Anderson1992: 12) insist that their collective claims to ancestralland bear witnessto their identityas ancient,homogenous, peoples.Transnational processesseem to be accompanied the by of of "re-inscription" identityonto the territory the homeland(Gupta 1992). The Portuguesegovernment, for example,has declaredPortugalto be a 1992, 1994). Its global nation (Feldman-Bianco and the descendants the emigrants of are emigrants part of Portugal even as they live within other countries. Similarly, Haitians, Vincentians, and Grenedians, Filipinosmay residepermanently abroadbut be seen as constituents their home of country. The difference betweenthe relationship past of societies towardstheir diasporasand the sending currenteffortsof both immigrants states with and to dispersedpopulations constructa deterritorialized nation-state encompasses diasporic that a population within its domain can be understood of throughexaminingthe trajectory Greekmigration. Greeceis one of the manycases in whichdishave been engaged in nationpersed populations state building over several centuries. Merchants and intellectuals Greekoriginsettledin Western of actors in the politicaland Europewere important culturalprocessesof the late eighteenthand early nineteenthcenturiesthat resultedin the modern Greek state (Jusdanis1991).10 Crucialintegrative the institutions such as local schools,and libraries, and university, academy,polytechnic, stadiumwere fromthe diasbuilt, in large part,by contributions illiterate pora.Thereis evidencethat impoverished, peasants,as well as wealthy families,contributed

the published studies.The studiesdescribed asand sessedthe progress madetowards imincorporating migrantsinto U.S. society. These studies contributed to the publicperception that such populations were in fact immigrants;meanwhile,the public campaignsto insure that these immigrantswere loyalto the U.S. also soughtto diminishthe continuation of home ties. In subsequentgenerations these connectionsgenerallywere not remembered or reported social scienceresearchers. is only It by now,and in the contextof the successfulincorporation of past generations immigrants, of that a revisionist historyin the U.S. is remembering persistconnections past generations of of ing transnational immigrants. (See, for example, Portes and Rumbaut1990.) And yet we arguethat the currentconnections of immigrants of a different are orderthan past immigrant linkages to home societies. The current of and processes restructuring reconfiguring global have affected both international capital migration and nation-statebuildingin significantways. The new circuitsof capitalprovide contextin which the migrantsand the descendantsof migrants,often in fully incorporated the countriesof settlement such as the U.S., maintainor construct anewtransnationalinterconnections differin their intenthat fromthe hometies maintained sity and significance by past migrations(Basch et al. 1994). They also providethe context in which these linkages are again becomingvisible. Much researchremainsto be done, but it wouldseem that the currentforms of capital accumulationand concomitantalterations in the formationof all classes and strata inthe of terpenetrate politicaland economicprocesses the nation-states throughout world.The increasein and importance the transof density,multiplicity, nationalinterconnections immigrants certainly of is made possibleand sustainedby transformations in and the technologies transportation communicaof tion. Jet planes,telephones, faxes, and internetcerfacilitate maintainingclose and immediate tainly ties to home. However,the tendency of today's transmigrantsto maintain, build, and reinforce multiple linkages with their countries of origin seemsto be facilitatedratherthan produced the by possibilityof technologicallyabridgingtime and is space. Rather, immigranttransnationalism best understoodas a responseto the fact that in a globaleconomycontemporary migrantshave found in full incorporation the countries within which At they resettleeithernot possibleor not desirable.

FROM IMMIGRANTTO TRANSMIGRANT to building national educational institutions (p. 213). However,and the point is critical,although these nation-builders engagedin multiple,overlapactivitiesin ways that are simiping transnational lar to present-daytransmigrants,they did not claim that their settlementsabroadwere part of Greece.They were deeplycommittedto the struggle to constituteGreeceas a state with its own auThis separation nation-state of tonomousterritory. from emigrant populationcan still be found in statementsof Greek-Americans writingon GreekAmerican identity:for example,"amongthoseborn in this country. . . one's identityis not that of a of Greek,but ratherthe sensibility an transplanted Americanethnic"(Moskos1989: 146, cited in Jusdanis 1991: 216). At present,a significantchange is underway. and Both the Greekgovernment personsof Greek origins settled in various countries around the to world are redefiningtheir relationship Greece. The direction of the change is signaled by the adoptionby the Greek governmentof the term or "spodemoi" "Greeksabroad"for all personsof Greekancestry.For a sector of these people,"the is unifyingforceof the Hellenicdiaspora no longer a place, the nation-state of Greece, but the imagined transcendentalterritory of Greekness to whichgroupsof individuals may appropriate suit their own needs and interests" (Jusdanis 1991: 217). It is in this new transnational space that the Greek governmentis mobilizingpopularopinion for its currentopposition the newly independent to state of Macedonia. they participate the poAs in litical processof reimagining historyof Norththe ern Greece (Karakasidou1994; Danforth n.d.), membersof these populations, many long settled, in are participating and definingthemselvesas a part of the Greekpolity while they simultaneously remain embeddedin the nation-statesin which they are settled. Evidenceof Transnational Processes In the remaining sectionsof this articlewe examine some of the similaritiesthat emerge from such comparative study,illustratethemwith someof our own field studies,and examinethe implications of this anthropology transnational of for migration the debateon the meritsof immigration. large body A of ethnographic data on transnational immigrant networkshas been producedby researchers workand ing in the Caribbean LatinAmerica.The rich-


of est descriptions transnational processesare of householdand family economiesrooted in both sendingand receivingsocieties;fewer descriptions and of are available transnational organizations political processes.Rubenstein(1982) and ThomasHope (1985) in the 1980s and more recently Gmelch (1992), in describing return migration from England,Canada,and the U.S. to the island nation-statesin the West Indies," have docuof mentedthe interweave transnational familyrelaa and transactions reserved that tionships economic place for returnmigrantsat home,offsettingtheir These connections have enaglobal vulnerability. their yearsabroadto have bled immigrants during childrencared for by kin at home, to continueas actors in key family decisions,to visit at regular intervals, and to purchase property and build homes and businessesin their countriesof origin, even as they have boughthomesand createdbusinessesin their countriesof settlement. Georges (1990) and Grasmuckand Pessar and (1991) have notedthat individuals households or struggledto maintaintheirclass positions to secure class mobilityin the DominicanRepublicby workingor setting up businessesin New York. While such sojourns sometimestemporary, are returnhomeis often "fragile" and Pessar (Grasmuck 1991:86), so that manyimmigrants up livinga end settledexistencein the U.S. but investingin propand erty, businesses social statusin the Dominican (1978) and Brown(1991) have Republic.Laguerre described Haitiantransnational of familynetworks urbanworking-class households. Even thoughthey had not fully developed conceptof transnationala ism, a few scholarsof migrationrecognizedthat the transnational linkagesthat they wereobserving had implicationsfor the immigrantsand their homeand host societies(Chaney1979). Forexample, Gonzalez(1988: 10) notedthat manyGarifuna have "become United States citizens, yet they think of themselvesas membersof two (or more) societies."12 Scholars such as Takaki (1989) and Pido (1986), writingaboutAsianimmigrant populations in the U.S., have been even more focusedon the problemsof immigrantintegration,assimilation, and belonging, than those writing about Latin American Caribbean and Nonetheless, immigrants. recentethnographic accountscontainsomedescriptions of immigrantsfrom the Philippines, China, and Koreacontinuing maintainties back home to (Pido 1986;Wong 1982;Kim 1987).



cial mobilityin contextsof vulnerability suborand dination to world capitalismboth at home and abroad. Thesecollectivetransnational familystrategies also have important for implications class production and reproduction bothendsof the migration at stream.They are helpfulin maintaining, also and at times in enhancing, social and economicpothe sitionsof transmigrants' familiesin class structures at home where opportunities often deterioratare ing. The Vincentianpeasant family of the Carringtonsis an apt exampleof the need to deploy in in familymembers severallocations orderto survive as a unit and retaina land base in St Vincent, and the relativeadvantage that comesfromsuch a strategy.This familyownedtwo acresof land, the produceof which the mothervendedin the local market.Household members livedin a simpleclapboardhouseof two rooms,with no indoorplumbing or electricity.Two daughters,who could not find in deemployment St. Vincent's stagnanteconomy, spite the country'srecent political independence, migratedto the U.S. as domesticworkersto gain incomethat could help supportfamilymembers in A ComparativeEthnographyof Caribbeanand Saint Vincentand contribute buildinga cement to block family home. Two brothers,who also could Filipino Transnationalism not find work locally, migratedto Trinidadas a skilled automobile mechanic and construction Among the Caribbeanand Filipinotransmigrants The wife of one of the brothers laterjoined of with whomwe worked,the processes settlement worker. her husband's sistersin New York, whereshe too As of fostered the development transnationalism. becamea live-indomesticworker.The motherrethey settled in their new homes,membersof these mainedbehindin St. Vincentto care for her son's populationsdevelopedmultiple social, economic, two small childrenand overseethe construction of and politicalties that extendedacrossborders.Inthe family home. At variousmomentsone of the in and corporation the U.S. accompanied contribin whenhe was laid off fromhis in uted to incorporation the home society. Funda- brothers Trinidad, work in Trinidad,returnedto the family home in mental to these multiple networks of are of interconnection networks kin who are based St. Vincent;it was loans from his sisters in New Yorkthat enabledhim to returnto Trinidad when in one or more households.Among all classes it there increased. opportunities to takes some resources migrateand, often, migra- employment A middle-classFilipinocouple, severedfrom tion and the establishmentof transnational netthe supportof their extendedfamily becauseof a worksare strategiesto insure that a householdis businessmisunderstanding, difficulties able to retainwhat it has in termsof resources and experienced and their social position.Flexible extendedfamily networks findingadequateemployment supporting have long been used in all these countriesto pro- childrenin school during the 1980s. Facing the vide access to resources. stretching,reconfigur- possibilityof a reducedclass positionand social By ing, and activatingthese networksacrossnational status, they took a calculatedrisk and migrated familiesare able to maximizethe utili(firstthe wife and then the husbandand children) boundaries, zation of labor and resourcesin multiplesettings to the U.S., eventhoughthey had to leavetwo chiltheirmigraand survivewithin situationsof economicuncer- drenbehindto finishschool.Following These family networks, tion, child rearingdecisionshave been made by tainty and subordination. acrosspoliticaland economicborders,providethe phoneand childrenhave movedbackand forthbein tweenschooland business possibilityfor individualsurvivaland at times soopportunities different

Evidenceof transnational patternsof interconnectioncan be foundin descriptions migrations of to the U.S. and WesternEuropefrommost regions of the world.Some ethnographers with reworking cent immigrantsin Italy, France, Holland, and observed evidenceof transSpainhaveoccasionally national linkages (Eintziger 1985; Carter 1994; Neveu 1994; Jimenez Romero 1994). "Dollar" houses recentlyhave been noted to transformthe and inflatelocal land values in the Phillandscape ippines and India as well as in the Caribbean, Latin America,the Pacific, and Africa. However, the evenwhenthey havedocumented circulation of (Ballard1987) or identified peopleand remittances the growthof transnational culturaldiasporas (Cohen 1994;Hall 1990), a numberof scholarsworkthe ing in Europehaveyet to recognize significance of these interconnections studies in migration for and culturalpolitics.A conceptof "transnationalto ism" wouldallow researchers take into account live the fact that immigrants their lives acrossnational bordersand respondto the constraintsand demandsof two or more states.

FROM IMMIGRANTTO TRANSMIGRANT parts of the U.S. and the Philippines.After the successfulweddingof their daughterto a Manila dentist,whichwas financedby with dollarsearned in the U.S., the familyis now buyingland to build it a housein the Philippines; also is investingU.S. in a small businessstarted by one of the savings sons in Manila. The parentscontinueto live in a in small rentedapartment Queens. or Not everyonewithina familynetwork even withina household may benefitto the same degree and tensionsaboundas men and women,those at home and those abroad,define their interestsand For needs differently.s1 example,a Haitiandoctor living in Queensinvitedhis nieces from Haiti into His the household. wife, who foundher doubleburden of work and houseworkcompounded the by kin, presenceof her husband's was bitteraboutthe arrangement.Her anger was fueled by the fact that she wanted room for her own siblings'chilfeel dren. In poorerHaitianfamiliestransmigrants crushedby "bills here and there,"while those left reat homefeel that they are not beingadequately imbursedfor the family resourcesthey have invested in sendingthe migrantabroad.Haitiansof illiterateand with little acpeasantbackgrounds, cess to phonesin Haiti, have developeda rhetoric in the form of songs sent throughaudio cassettes within which tensionsand fissureswithin transnaand kin networksare communitional households cated (Richman1992a). Women,who often shoulder the responsibility for their children's face to pressures sendmoney upbringing, particular back home. A study of Haitian remittancesfrom New YorkCity to Haiti indicatedthat womensent larger amounts of money than men did, with women who "headed households"sending the greatestamount(DeWind 1987). Migrantshave also createdbusinessactivities sothat build upon, and also foster, transnational Studentsof immigration the in cial relationships. U.S. have devoteda great deal of energyto the investigationof enclave economies,postulatingthat densely settled immigrantsare able to generate their own internal market for culturallyspecific cuisines, products, and objects (Sassen-Koob 1985). However,it is possibleto view such commercial transactions located within a transnaas tional space that spans national borders,rather than as confinedto territorially based enclaves. Sometimes the commercial interconnections are surreptitious so small scale they are barely or visible. This is certainlytrue of the transnational


economicnetworksmaintained many Haitians by who use familyvisitsbetweenHaiti andthe U.S. to restocksmall stores and businessesin Haiti with items brought into Haiti in personal luggage. visitsto obtainmediWhenshe comesfor periodic cal treatmentthroughU.S. Medicareto whichshe is entitledafter long yearsof workin the U.S., as Yowell as throughvisits to relativesin Montreal, restocktheirsmallgift shop landeand her husband in Port-au-Prince. Immacula,visiting her sister, bleachand othersuppliesfor her sister'sfubrings neral parlor.Many mambosand houngon(priests and priestesseswho lead Haitian voodoogatherings) importritualobjectsfromHaiti for theirceremoniesin the U.S. Often the most successfulmigrantbusinesses createdby transnationarise in the very interstices and alism-for example,shipping air cargocompafirms, labor contractors,and nies, import-export moneytransferhouses.At the same time the busiof sonessesfacilitatethe deepening transnational cial relations.A shippingcompanystartedby two brothersfrom St. Vincentis such an undertaking. Carl Hilaire,usingthe savingshe accruedfromhis job as a bankclerkin New York,starteda business in barrelsof goodsbetweenmigrants New shipping York and their kin in St. Vincent.His brotherin St. Vincent receivedand deliveredthe goods as they arrivedin St. Vincent. The success of the brothers' shippingcompanywas in part relatedto their activeinvolvements socialserviceactivities in both in St. Vincentand the immigrant community in New York,whereeach was well known. Despitethe wideuse madeof this company by in familiesand businesses New York transmigrant in and St. Vincent,the limitedcapitalavailable the eastern Caribbean immigrant community has servedas a brakeon the growthof this company. as Employedprimarily clerksand juniorlevel administrators service sector companies,Vincenin tian immigrants, Carl,havelimitedfunds including availablefor investment and purposes, limitedconnectionsto peoplewith capital,to enablethis business to expandinto relatedactivitiesor to be extendedto other West Indianislands. that faHowever,it is possiblefor businesses cilitate transnational connections generatelarge to amountsof capital. When by 1987 annualremittances to Haiti grew to an estimated to be U.S.$99.5 milliona year fromthe New Yorkmetthe area, Citibankinvestigated possibility ropolitan of competingwith the profitableHaitian money


ANTHROPOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY 56 QUARTERLY tions.They organized just nostalgicimaginings not of the home countrybut active relationships with it. These organizational a activitiesprovided base upon which leaderswere able to validateor build social and political capital in both societies. Vincentians Grenadians, and hisgivena migration tory to the U.S. that spans the twentiethcentury, and confronting bothin the past and racialbarriers their full incorporation into that prevented present the social and politicallife of the nation,have a long history of using organizationsto maintain transnational interconnections (Basch 1992; Basch et al. 1994;Toney 1986).14 increasing The transnaand tionalactivitiesof Vincentian Grenadian orgathe nizations following1970demonstrate important in impact self-ruleand politicalindependence the emiwith greatlyexpanded West Indies.combined of grationto the U.S., have had on the organizing social field.15 a multi-stranded transnational have built a dense netFilipinotransmigrants work of linkages with hundredsof organizations that stage religious,cultural,and social events in the Philippines well as in the U.S. Fiestas,for as have takenon example,in townsin the Philippines of a grandscale with the participation Filipinoorin ganizations the U.S. Some of the organizations idennew havedeveloped formsof Filipinonational tity and political action and have mediatedrelagoverntionshipsbetweenthe U.S. and Philippines ments (Basch et al. 1994). A surveyof the leadersof Haitian organizations in New YorkCity begunduringthe Duvalier indicatedthe range of organizational dictatorship linkages that can grow up, even in a situation are wheretransnational organizations viewedwith in suspicionor activelyoppressed the home counin try.'6 Not all Haitian organizations New York but more than forty percent were transnational were engagedin activitiesorientedat least in part to Haiti and sixty percentsaw someof theiractivito ties in some way contributing Haiti. The range that operatedin a transnational of organizations social field included Protestant and Catholic fromvarioushigh alumnaeorganizations churches, hometownassociations,Masonic lodges, schools, that saw culturalassociations,'7 and organizations in as themselves a voiceof the "Haitiancommunity saw New York."These organizations their membersas neithersolelypartof the U.S. nor Haiti but to ratheras connectedsimultaneously both societies. To educate Haitian youth in the U.S. would to both contribute their successas Americansand

transferbusinessesthat had developedin the U.S. (DeWind1987). Becauseof their largerpopulation size and resourcebase, Filipinoshave been able to businesseswith develop large scale transmigrant multiplebranchesacrossnationalbordersby using createdby the ongoingtransnational the interstices For lives of the new immigrants. example,starting with the sale of rice and vegetables to Filipino nurses from a small delivery truck as a second source of income, a Filipino accountantprogresto sively graduated the bulk air shipmentof transboxes. Ten migrants'balikbayan("homecomers") years later he had offices in New York, Manila, and six other Philippine cities, a fleet of some 100 courierspicking up and deliveringthe packages with certain doorto door,and a specialagreement airlines.The once part-timebusinesshas becomea for and largeinvestment a full time occupation him and other membersof his family. The growthof is these businesses a testimonyto multipleties that extendbetweenhome and host countries. Transnational practicesextend beyondhousehold and family networksto includeorganizations that link the homecountrywith one or moresociehas ties in which its population settled. Immigrant haveoften been studiedas associations" "voluntary institutionsthat assist in the adaptationof newcomersto a new location (Mangin 1965). On the who otherhand,researchers have lookedfor explain nationsfor culturalpersistence the midst of assimilativepressureshave argued that immigrants to build organizations preservetheir practicesand (Jenkinset values,even as they assistin adaptation orientedtowardsthe inal. 1985). Social programs of corporation immigrantsinto their new society as often use these organizations culturalbrokers. Most recentlyin the U.S. immigrant organizations of havebeen seen as representatives ethniccommunities that contributeto a nation'sculturaldiverhas sity. None of these approaches examinedthe contribution these organizations make to the growthof social and politicalspaces and cultural of practicesthat go beyondthe boundaries the nation-state.Also not exploredby scholarsor policy of makersare the implications transnational orgaeffortsto for nizationalconnections programmatic as use immigrant organizations agentsof the social into the of and politicalincorporation immigrants receivingsociety. with Each of the four immigrantpopulations that whichwe workedhad developed organizations interconnecof builda densenetwork transnational

FROM IMMIGRANTTO TRANSMIGRANT of assist in the transformation Haiti. After the fall of the Duvalierregimemanyof these organizations bases in Haiti. workedto developorganizational have been partisansand parTransmigrants in ticipantsin strugglesagainstdictatorships Haiti, the Philippines,and Grenada and have charged for to their respectivegovernments be responsible making democracywork. Throughorganizations, retransnational as well as on the basisof personal have been able to play a transmigrants lationships, role in politicalarenasin both the U.S. and their home countries.Key membersof the anti-Duvalier movementin the U.S. returnedto Haiti in the 1980s and built supportfor politicaland social reform froma base both in Haiti and in the U.S. In the yearsbetweenthe fall of the Duvalierregimein 1986 and the election of Aristide in 1990, candidates for the Haitian legislatureand Presidency in campaigned the U.S., Canada,and Haiti. Several were long-timeresidentsof the U.S. Taking the stance that they share a single destiny, Haitians demonstratedin New York, Washington, to Miami, Boston, Montreal,and Port-au-Prince demandpoliticalchangein Haiti, to protestthe laof belingof Haitiansas carriers AIDS, and for the reinstatement Aristideas Presidentof Haiti. of Vincentianand Grenadianimmigrants,have workedclosely with, and sometimesas representatives of, their homegovernments obtainU.S. ecto for onomic support.Grenadiantransmigrants, exlobbiedthe U.S. government economic for ample, assistancepromisedbut never deliveredafter the U.S. invasion of their country and expected throughthe CaribbeanBasin Initiative.Active in efforts to develop agriculturaland industrialexports from their home countries,Grenadianand Vincentianmigrantshave built organizations that conhaveworked closelywith theirhomecountries' sulates in New York to obtain more favorable termsof tradefor Caribbean and agricultural manufacturedproductsbeing importedinto the U.S. They also have been part of effortsto obtainmore lenientimmigration quotas.
Filipino transmigrants were a major force in


to in developing opposition the Marcosgovernment the wake of deteriorating economicconditionsat home and in ensuring U.S. support in toppling Marcos.Throughtransmigrant discusorganizing, sion groups,speeches,and media exposure,a new form of nationalism was created and fostered in amongtransmigrants the U.S. underthe leaderto This ship of opponents the Marcosgovernment.

took off after the Aquinoassassination. movement and It lobbiedfor a new government a renewalof in the Philippines obtainedthe coland democracy laborationof key U.S. Senatorsand Representatives. Popularoutrage in both the U.S. and the of at Philippines Marcos'manipulation the Philipby pine nationalelections,confirmed the personal of and accompaobservations top U.S. politicians, of ultinied by the intenselobbying transmigrants, to matelyforcedthe Reagangovernment changeits the policiestowardsMarcosand to help overthrow of Marcosregime.The personnel the Filipinoregimes that have followed,beginningwith that of CoryAquino,havebeenfilledwith politicalplayers whosepersonal politicalnetworks them to and link boththe U.S. and the Philippines. the 1980sand In 1990s increasedFilipinoeffortsto lobby the U.S. for reflecta Congress assistancefor the Philippines political terrain of dense transnational interconnection. These activitieshave all been spearheaded by immigrantleaders in the U.S., acting in concert with political actors in their home nation-states. LamuelStanislaus,an informal leaderin the West in Indianimmigrant is community Brooklyn, an exare of how immigrants able to participate ample in-and have an impacton-political strugglesin both Grenadaand the U.S. A dentistto the West Indian and African American populations in fromGrenada Stanislausemigrated over Brooklyn, to studyat HowardUniversity. forty-five yearsago In the mid-1980she becamea key organizer a of supportgroup comprisedof West Indian immigrantsin New York to re-electMayorKoch.The felt membersof this organization that the thenwas cognizant and wouldbe responsive of to mayor West Indianinterestsin New York.Stanislaus had takenpartin severalmeetingswith Koch,at which he lobbiedfor West Indianinterests.At the same time Stanislaus, who during the last years of had Bishop'sgovernment been vocal in his opposition to what he considered be that government's to antidemocratic practices,headeda supportgroup of Grenadians, locatedbothin New Yorkand Greto nada,to elect a successor MauriceBishop,after and the U.S. invadedGreBishopwas murdered nada. When Stanislaus' candidate was elected primeministerof Grenada,Stanislaushimselfwas appointedGrenada'sambassadorto the United Nations, althoughhe had not visited Grenadain over forty years. As we see fromthese examples,the abilityof



ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY--QUARTERLY ANTHROPOLOGICAL~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~% This extension of the borders of the nationstate to include transmigrant populations long settled and often legally citizens of other countries was highlighted by the political discourse of President Aristide of Haiti. In 1991 he designated the Haitian diaspora Dizyem-na, the Tenth Department of Haiti. Haiti has nine territorial divisions called departments. By including Haitians in whatever country they have settled as part of the Haitian nation-state Aristide contributed to a new construction of the postcolonial nation-state. In this construction of Haiti as a borderless state, Haitian territory becomes a social space that may exist within the legal boundaries of many nation-states.'8 Haiti now exists wherever in the world Haitians had settled. Speaking of the "bank of the diaspora," he offered the model of Jewish Zionism as evidence of the productivity of this strategy in which, in the Haitian reading, the diaspora stays abroad but provides money and political assistance to the "home" country (Richman 1992b).19 Aristide's construction of the Tenth Department recognized, accepted, and made use of the multiple embeddedness of the Haitian transmigrants and their participation in the political life of the U.S. Haitian transnationalism was more than legitimized: it was nationalized. By nationalizing transmigrants, Aristide made Haitian transnationalism a political force that must be figured into the relationship between Haiti and the other nation-states in which Haitians have settled. By theorizing a deterritorialized nation, leaders such as Aristide are defining voting, lobbying, running for office, demonstrating, building public opinion, sending remittances, and maintaining other transnational activities carried out in the U.S. as acts of citizenship and expressions of loyalty to another country. U.S. hegemonic forces, on the other hand, have reacted to the growing commitment of transmigrants to participate in the political processes of both the U.S. and the "home society" by renewed incorporative efforts. They have insisted that the bottom line loyalties of Caribbean immigrants must be to the U.S. Interviews conducted in 1986 with representatives of fifty-one philanthropies, churches, and state agencies who worked with Haitian immigrant organizations made this clear. Representatives of U.S. organizations were explicit in their insistence that Haitian immigrants become U.S. citizens and give up their allegiance to Haiti. Both implicitly through the money, technical assis-

these transmigrants to wield political influence in both the U.S. and their home nation-states derives from their political incorporation in both settings. Grassroots organizing linked to new social movements as well as electoral politics take place in the emerging transnational political arenas. While the dominant political ethic of the U.S. continues to demand that citizens, both native born and naturalized, swear allegiance only to the U.S. and define their political identity within its borders, the transnationalism of increasing numbers of its citizens promotes new political constructions in labor-sending states. Facing situations of extreme economic impoverishment and dependency, Caribbean leaders are developing constructions of their nationstates that encompass those residing abroad as part of their body politic. These constructions, which we have labeled "deterritorialized nation-states" (Basch et al. 1994) define state boundaries in social rather than geographic terms. According to this reading of the nation-state, the borders of the state spread globally to encompass all migrants and their descendants wherever they may settle and whatever legal citizenship they may have attained. Bishop, the prime minister of Grenada during the early 1980s, reflecting the perspective of several West Indian political leaders, underscored the importance of the immigrants to Grenada's nation building by referring to Brooklyn as "Grenada's largest constituency." To assure that the immigrants remain connected and committed to projects at home both ideologically and financially, scores of West Indian political leaders visit their "constituencies" in the diaspora to describe their development initiatives. In so doing they enmesh the transmigrants in the nation-state building processes of West Indian nation-states. As early as 1973 Philippines President Marcos, and subsequently his successors, developed a program for balikbayan ("homecomers") and began to use the term to refer to Filipino citizens and non-citizens residing overseas. They encouraged migrants to visit home through visa and travel facilitation and allowed for large shipments of personal effects that ultimately fed transnational import-export businesses and they levied taxes on incomes earned abroad. Government officials called upon Filipino transmigrants to fund development projects in the Philippines and to lobby for increased U.S. aid. Filipino senators and congressmen came to the U.S. to campaign for elected office in the Philippines.

FROM IMMIGRANT TO TRANSMIGRANT tance, and political connections they provided to organizations, and explicitly in the course of meetings and conversations with Haitian leaders, these representative sent a consistent message. It was summarized by a representative of the Community Service Society, a large philanthropic organization: "I have problems with dual citizenship; I believe in allegiance to one country." Implications of Transnationalism for the Debate on Immigration The paradox of our times, and one that must be central to our understanding of the identities and dilemmas of current day immigrants is that the "age of transnationalism" is a time of continuing and even heightening nation-state building processes. In the current heightening of nationalist sentiment in a globalized economy, transnational migration is playing a complex, significant, yet little noted role (Miles 1993). It lies as a silent subtext that contributes to the actions, motivations, and sensibilities of key players within the political processes and debates of both states that have histories of population dispersal and states that have primarily been and continue to be recipients of population flows. In the U.S. the debates on both immigration and multiculturalism need to be analyzed in relationship to the efforts by dominant forces to reconstruct national consensus and legitimate state structures at the same time that they globalize the national economy. The 1994 passage of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs and California's Proposition 187 that denies vital services to undocumented immigrants are a matched set of policy initiatives. As the national economy is restructured to facilitate higher levels of profit for transnational capital, politicians and the media have projected a bunker mentality, convincing the majority of the population, including people who are themselves immigrants that the national borders have to be defended against the undocumented. Undocumented workers are said to be the cause of the deterioration of the infrastructure and the lack of public services. The strategy of U.S. hegemonic forces forming a national consensus by depicting immigrants as an enemies of the nation is not new. However, the par'The Filipino immigrants also did not raise the issue of transnationalism. Even while they continue to build their transnational practices and networks, immigrants, very often influ-


ticular focus on the undocumented is worth examining for several reasons. Certainly the continuing ability of the nation-state to punish violations of law should not be dismissed in debates about the demise of the nation-state. In the realm of the withdrawal of rights to health, education, and peace of mind, the U.S. nation-state is clearly able to enforce a distinction between categories of belonging. However, it should be noted that the political rhetoric and policies such as Proposition 187 delineate legal residents and the undocumented, rather than native born and foreign or citizen and non-citizen. Similarly, the special Federal Commission on Immigration Reform chaired by former U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan does not advocate halting immigration but does propose restricting undocumented immigration. This particular emphasis on categories of legality has a dual thrust. The debate is as much about confining immigrant loyalties to the U.S. as it is about reducing the flow of immigration. Of course, the current national public discussion about immigration certainly contributes to a broader anti-immigrant hysteria that has racist underpinnings, with all immigrants of color finding their presence and activities under increased scrutiny. Concepts of "America, the white" are reinforced. Yet at the same time, documented immigrants are being drawn into the debate on the side of enforcement, validating their right to belong but differentiating themselves from other immigrants. There is a dialectic between inclusion and exclusion that disciplines transnational migrants by focusing public attention on the degree to which they belong in the U.S. The current debate on immigrants in U.S. will lead not to the effective policing of national borders but to the reinscription of boundaries. It serves to counter transnational identities and loyalties and creates a terrain in which immigrants are drawn into defending whatever they have achieved or obtained by defending it against the undocumented. They are therefore drawn into a discourse of identity that links them to the U.S. nation state as a bounded structure of laws and institutions as well as a defended territory. Yet none of the nationbuilding processes encompasses fully the complexity and multiple identities which constitute the lives of transmigrants.
enced by the concept of "the immigrant" as uprooted, believe that they must make a choice between their new country and their homeland. Interactions such as these with the census or-


60 60

tries formedfromthe Caribbean territories underthe controlof the Britishduringthe colonialperiod.The term "Caribbean" has a broader to connotation, referring all islandstates lying in Sea as well as states along the northern of rim the Caribbean South America(See Basch 1987, 1992). 12Further work on Garifuna networksthat interconnect in populations multiplenationstates has beendoneby Macklin (1992). Macklinidentifieda patternin which immigrantnetthat migrants worksspanso manycountries developan identity of which in some ways is independent any particularnational territoryor history. of 13See Pessar 1991 for an explication this theme. in whichwereapparent the early "These interconnections, 1980s, led Basch to design a study to explorethe extent and This research conducted was of ramifications these connections. underthe auspicesof the United Nations Institutefor Training and Researchand was fundedby the United Nations Fundfor DevelopmentRePopulationActivities and the International search Centre (Ottawa, Canada). Rosina Wiltshire,Winston with Wiltshire,and Joyce Toney were researchcollaborators Basch;their efforts were greatly aided by the researchassistance of Colin Robinson,Isa Soto, and MargaretSouza. "lTheimmigration legislationof 1965, and the social and economicrelationsbetweenthe United States and the Caribbean that framedits enactment,greatlyliberalizedrestrictions that had been in force since the of West Indian immigration in 1920s.This historicmoment(1965 to 1970) was a watershed of the expansionof the West Indian population, West Indian social, political,and economicactivities,and of increasingassertionsof a publicWest Indianidentityin New York.Transnational organizationsplayed an importantrole in fostering these intertwining developments. 16The survey, as well as a survey of U.S. organizations was funded that provided supportto Haitianethnic organizing by a grant from the National Institutefor Child Health and Human Development(#281-40-1145) to Josh DeWind and Nina Glick Schiller. It was developedand administered a by research team that included Marie Lucie Brutus, Carolle Charles,George Fouron,and Antoine Luis Thomas.For a report on some of the findings, see Glick Schiller et al. 1992[1987]. in 17In her researchwith Filipinoorganizations New York with founda similarrangeof organizations City Szanton-Blanc connections. transnational Anglade had previouslyused the term in his a"George it. writingsbut Aristidepopularized The conceptof the Tenth of note amonga number middlestrucka resonant Department and aspiringpoliticalleaders in the class Haitian immigrants to U.S., and they proceeded hold a seriesof meetingsto organize the mannerin which they wouldassist Haiti and to choose of officialrepresentatives the Tenth Department. 'Aristide also waged a campaign to insure that when came home to visit and spendtheir money,they transmigrants felt welcome. In the past personsin the diasporawere often who had jumped ship. devalued as unauthenticopportunists "Diaspora"became a somewhatpejorativeterm. In contrast, to Aristidecalledon the Haitianpopulation welcomethe transmigrantswho shouldreturnto Haiti not to settle but as "good Kreyoltourists"(bonjan pitit kay touris Kreyol) homegrown and to see them not as a threat but a sourceof assistancefor the strugglesof the Haitian people(Richman 1992).

ganizersreinforcetheir belief that U.S. society wants them to be loyal to only the U.S., so that they do not describeother aspectsof their experiences. 2"Transnational" appearsin the titles of books, dissertaand tions, conferences, journals(AmericanAcademyof Political and Social Science 1986; Georges 1990; Richman 1992a; Rouse 1989;Wakeman1988). Diasporais "a journalof transnationalstudies,"Public Culturehas as its subtitlethe "Sociof Studies,"and the statementof purpose ety for Transnational movementsof population." Identitiesspeaks of "transnational connectionsbecame a theme of the anIn 1993 transnational nual meetingsof the AmericanEthnological Society, while the called for workon "transnaSociety for CulturalAnthropology tionalculture."The 1994 meetingsof the AmericanAnthropological Society contained seven sessions devoted to transnational studies. SSuttonand Mackiesky-Barrow (1992[1975]: 114) were and sociocultural among the first to speak of a "transnational politicalsystem"in which"politicaleventsat home ... had an impact on the migrantcommunitiesabroadwhile migrantexperienceswere relayedin the oppositedirection."Researchers whose lives defy, sometimeson daily workingwith immigrants terms, the legal constraintsof the Mexican and U.S. border, circuits"(Rouse 1989, 1991) or beganto talk of "transnational communities" "transnational (Kearney 1992; Rouse n.d.). Appadurai(1990, 1991) and Gupta (1992), notingthe rapidflow of ideas and objectsas well as people,began to reimaginethe a globe as havingenteredan era of transnationalism, position to also expressedby Rouse and Kearney.In 1989, responding our call to develop a transnational perspectiveon migration, miof seven scholarsexaminedthe ramifications transnational gration to the U.S. from Asia, the Caribbean,Mexico, and Portugal,at a conferenceat the New York Academyof Sciences (see Charles, Feldman-Bianco, Lessinger,Ong, Rouse, Richman,and Wiltshirein Glick Schiller et al. 1992b). 4Thisstatementreflectsa tendencyfoundin manyscholars to influenced postmodernism imaginea past of unchanging by and tightly boundedcultures. (1993) has made a similarpoint but does not 5Appadurai includemilitaryand police functions. 6Gilroy(1987) has examinedthe responseof black immigrant youth in Britainfrom a similar perspective. 7See Chock (forthcoming)for a critique of the way in which texts such as the Harvard Encyclopediaof American of Ethnic Groupsshapednarratives immigrantsettlementand identity. 8The intensityof earlier drives to assimilate immigrants may actuallyhave been a reactionto the fact that immigrants also tended to maintaintheir home ties. of earliergenerations Certainlythere are glimpses in the historicalrecordof large to scale returnmigration Italy (Portesand Rumbaut1990) and of political movementsin Europe, including many national in (Higham strugglesthat were transnational their composition and Brooks1978). "Bolsheviksincluding Trotsky wrote for the immigrant to pressin New Yorkand then returned Russiain the courseof in to the revolution build newspapers the Soviet Union. of I?They contributed to the reconceptualization the from a religiousmillet composedof population Greek-speaking within the OttomanEmpireto a nation with a co-religionists sharednationalcultureand its own state. "The term "West Indies"is used to describethose coun-



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