Transnationalism Bibliography

Question(s) addressed by the author and working arguments

This study is part of the first phase of a larger comparative study of transnational communities, and the goal of this phase is to explore the different practices that sustain a transnational social field. The article seeks to map the structure for understanding the Dominican transnational field.

By transnational field they refer to a web of linkages that affects the lives of Dominicans in their places of residence in every social field. They suggest that the structure of the transnational social field is best understood by distinguishing between narrow and broad forms of transnationality as two poles along a continuum of different forms of transnational practices. These poles are distinguished by three factors: the degree of institutionalization of various practices, the degree of involvement of people in the transnational field, and the degree of movement of people within the transnational geographical space.

Transnationality in a narrow sense refers to those people involved in economic, political, social, or cultural practices that involve a regular movement within the transnational field, a high level of institutionalization or constant personal involvement. Transnationality in a broad sense refers to a series of material and symbolic practices in which people engage that involve only sporadic physical movement between the two countries, a low level of institutionalization, or just occasional personal involvement.

The authors divide Transnational Practices into four categories: economic, political, civic-societal and cultural practices The sum of the narrow and broad practices constitutes the transnational social field.

Conceptual references to transnational – transnationalism

Narrow (N) and broad (B) Economic Transnationalism: Immigrants who have business in the US and Dominican Republic, not just remittances . Authors quoted: Portes and Guarnizo (1991)

Political transnationalism: N: membership and activism in Dominican Political Parties which have branches in US cities where there is a Dominican Presence. B: transmigrants interest in electoral Dominican politics.

Civil-societal transnationality: N: Several transnational initiatives, grass-roots or institutional, that are not mainly economic or political , are included in this category. Ej: town associations created to socialize and help their town.B: Sport leagues, religious groups.

Cultural Transnationalism: practices and institutions that take part in the formation of meanings N: institutionalization and constant involvement in cultural production in the Dominican Republic and the Diaspora. B: Music (merengue), literature

Conclusions or Final Remarks

The author suggest that the structure of the Dominican transnational field – and transnational fields in general-is better understood by looking at narrow and broad transnational practices (the criteria is degree rater than categorical). Remittances and political support were probably the initial engines in the constructions of Dominican Transnationalism.