Transnational families are, as the term suggests, social structures existing across national borders. Thus, individuals belonging to these families are in geographical terms separated by space. However, the practices of transnational families often provide a sense of proximity and emotional attachment. This article, by seeing space as inherently relational, discusses the fields within which families establish themselves and move transnationally. Transnational family spaces are, for example, arenas where young people meet and where marriages are arranged. This article includes the life and marriage stories of two individuals who have married transnationally, based on their family relationships, and further analyses how these marriages are element in the practices that families engage in to uphold a sense of closeness - an endeavour that is sometimes successful, sometimes not. Finally, the article discusses some elements that challenge the relational spaces that transnational families engage in, particularly the impact of nation states and their regulations.
In her seminal 1998 work on ‘new wars’ Mary Kaldor developed a heuristic framework usefully for understanding the characteristics of armed non-state groups involved in contemporary conflicts. This framework was derived from analysing the 1992-1995 Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict. Some two decades after this however, adjustments may now be necessary. A focussed examination of the strategy used during 2014 by Islamic State Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) reveals Kaldor’s framework may now need to include a more explicit focus on the transnational. Since the mid-1990s, the transnational has been made more accessible by advances in social media in particular, and by globalization more generally. ISIS’s use of the transnational indicates this may be an area that astute non-state actors can advantageously exploit - perhaps better than states - although there are some difficulties involved. ISIS’s success suggests that the transnational may in time have greater influence on the politics of international society.
The intention of this paper is to explore the internationalization efforts of German pork producers towards Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with a special focus on recent dynamics, market development strategies and policy conditions. The added-value potentials offered by CEE countries have become increasingly lucrative for the German pork industry, particularly as the domestic market currently shows a certain degree of saturation in terms of consumption. The results of this study which is mainly based on qualitative interviews with selected pork producers from North-West Germany reveal that transnational pork production networks between Germany and CEE are shaped by a high degree of fragility and discontinuity. This is reflected not only by the fluctuating development of foreign trade in piglets, live hogs and pork products, but also by the uncertainty and hesitancy of the interviewed pork producers with regard to business operations in CEE markets. It will be shown that the policy conditions on the national level still have a clear impact on internationalization processes in the pork industry. The paper further illustrates that the configuration of transnational pork production networks can be explained, in part, by insights from the global production networks (GPN) and the agri-food geographies literature.
The integration of cities and their regions into transnational networks has become a key municipal strategy, with the creation of a metropolitan governance structure being seen in this context as a fundamental element. The Szczecin Metropolitan Area constitutes an example of meagre results in intercommunal cooperation in post-socialist East-Central Europe. This has its repercussions on the task of creating cross-border metropolitan governance structures including adjacent German counties, a task which, in turn, may help to overcome development barriers. This becomes apparent particularly in the process of defining joint development objectives as well as an image for the cross-border metropolitan region
In 2008, the Swedish government liberalised the labour migration policy to a demand driven model without labour market tests. This article analyses the effects of the policy change on the labour migration inflow. The migrants consist of three major categories including those moving to: skilled jobs as computer specialists and engineers, low-skilled jobs in the private service sector and seasonal work in the berry picking industry. The article shows that the new model has produced a labour migration inflow that is better explained by the access of employers and migrants to transnational networks rather than actual demand for labour
Re-Dimensioning the Polish-German Border Area: Poznań as a City in a Transnational Cooperation Space
The declining importance of national policies and the economic level as a result of globalisation as well as European integration processes compels cities to become actors on the international stage and to define their own ‘foreign policies’, which may include the establishment of transnational alliances, networks, and cooperation territories. This will be discussed using Poznań as a case study. After the fall of the Iron Curtain the city had to integrate into traditional forms of international cooperation as well as new forms of transnational networking. Concerning the latter, the biggest challenge is the integration of Poznań into the strategic network of the Oder Partnership, which aims at creating a Polish-German cooperation space able to compete with other European regions.
This article examines the way in which young people of migrant descent in Sweden account for their future prospects and career plans. The article demonstrates how both their position as "migrants" in Sweden and their attachment to a transnational network has a significant impact on how young migrants express ideas and talk about future opportunities. The main conclusion is that from the perspective of young migrants, the transnational social network is a significant social reality to which they position themselves consciously. The network is also attributed a social capital that could extend the subjects' horizon of action beyond the nation-state boundaries. In this sense, transnationality is a vivid dimension in the young migrants' life prospects.
Various media allow people to build transnational networks, learn about the world and meet people from other cultures. In other words, media may allow one to cultivate cosmopolitan capital, defined here as a distinct form of embodied cultural capital. However, far from everyone is identifying this potential. Analyses of a national survey and in-depth interviews, conducted in Sweden, disclose a tendency among those in possession of cultural capital to recognise and exploit cosmopolitan capital in their media practices. Those who are dispossessed of cultural capital are significantly less liable to approach media in this way. Relying on various media practices in order to reshape one’s cultural capital exemplifies what Bourdieu called a reconversion strategy. As social fields undergo globalisation, media offer opportunities for the privileged to remain privileged – to change in order to conserve.
Objective: This study explores the settlement decisions of Serbian self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) in the United States.
Methodology: Using qualitative phenomenological inquiry, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 Serbian SIEs, and the data were analyzed through the framework analysis method. This explorative study focused on individual preferences and processes, social interactions, and socio-economic environment through the concepts of decision theory, acculturation orientation, and transnational attachment.
Findings: Serbian SIEs were motivated to migrate to the United States for career opportunities, self-worth validation, departure from social norms placed by the Serbian society, and normal, happy lives. Their decisions to stay were deeply influenced by their family members, possible repatriation or further journey dependent on favorable opportunities at home, potential boredom with a current lifestyle, and intention to start a family. Serbian SIEs navigated the macro system based on knowledge gained through exploration and transnational networks. They chose the path of individualism and integration in terms of their acculturation orientation, which put them in balanced position for their own well-being. Serbian SIEs deliberately chose metropolitan areas, in which transnational attachments were fostered, and more opportunities arose.
Value added: Living in a culturally plural society has become a reality, leading to acculturation among migrants. If policy makers, hiring organizations, social service agencies, immigration officials, and law enforcement agencies understand why people choose to permanently relocate, they can also provide appropriate and relevant help in their adjustment challenges.
Recommendations: The research on migration and SIEs’ decisions shows strong evidence that it relates to economic and professional gain as well as social networks and family ties; however, economic and social factors are not the only ones influencing migration decisions. Studies that call for both person- and institutional level are needed for deeper understanding of migration and settlement decisions as parameters exploring the consequences of immigration, crucial for the development of the intercultural management field. This way, both micro- and macro-level aspects would be equally highlighted, while meso-level information would serve for providing the connection between the two.
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