Trans-nationalism

Following Oscar Handlin’s ‘The Uprooted’ the discourse and study on immigrants and immigration studies changed. Before it was more of a ‘we’ and ‘them’ mentality but following Handlin’s book and his reflection on immigrants ‘we’ became ‘us’. A social movement of self-identifying as a former immigrant changed the way in which immigration was talked and wrote about, from school education to published works. During the Civil Rights movement and after, people lost sight of the transnational experiences in immigration. Trans-nationalism is a social phenomenon and scholarly research agenda that focuses on the migration of people to America. The immigrant image was being romanticized and changed into a national identity that centered on the United States, not outwardly and other places that also experience immigration. The old image was one that showed the immigrants as hard working people just looking for a place to find freedom and peace, but most importantly they found it within the borders of America. They being a small group of Anglo immigrants and those who could easily conform to the American identity and are instead erased from the narrative. Instead of looking at immigration as a geographical movement it would be best to see it in a legal standing which includes citizenship and civic incorporation. Citizenship because many were denied citizenship based on where they originated from or if they did not fit into the new narrative. They were then shifted into civic incorporation as labor. It is more of a globalization movement because the United States was not the only place people migrated to, then replacing the continental notion of migration only happening from far away. Finally to look at how corporations had effected on immigration and a growing one too.

Worldwide used to be used instead of global or globalization. Global used to refer to the scale of migration phenomenon. Two cases of globalizing migration are from Italy and Canada. The first is how the Italian migrant worker went many more places, sooner, than to America for work. There is evidence of Italian work in Canada and South America. The Canadian Case looks at how with immigration restrictions, Canadians became a top social and economic source for the United States. The Canadian migrant workers would cross borders frequently for work with little to no issue. One thing to note is the difference in migration for French Canadians compared to Anglo Canadians who migrated at a one to three ration favoring Anglo Canadians. French Canadians saw a more chain migration with those already in America going back to require more workers for New England factories. They were also more likely to return to the same place where they migrated to. These two examples show the difference in migration that is not focused on America as the center but instead on the people who migrated globally.

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