Conceptualizing Transnational Community Formation: Migrants, Sojourners and Diasporas in a Globalized Era

W. Andy Knight


Transnational communities have flourished in the globalized era, creating a Diaspora and sojourners that are unlike earlier waves of migrants. This paper first examines the main theories currently used to describe and explain international migration and find them wanting. Through an examination of two case studies of ethnic Japanese migrants (the Brazilian Nikkeijin and Peruvian Nikkei) who return to their homeland after living abroad for one or two generations, the paper goes on to demonstrate that the concept of international migrant’ needs further theorizing to account for the impact of globalization and globalism. To this end, the author calls for the development of new theoretical understandings of the evolution of transnational community formation that would be multi-variate and robust enough to guide future public policy and research.

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