In part one of this blog to understand the impact immigration has on transnationalism, we saw a change in the reason why people move from one country to another. The old catalysts for migration are now still as valid, but no longer the major driving factor behind why there is global migration.
Poverty and political unrest are still great forces that impact immigrants, but in today’s modern and globalized world the people that now move around the globe in mass migration are professionals. Significant evidence has now been put forward to understand migration patterns in the modern world. It shows that the new immigrants are far more likely to be from their home country’s zone of influence, this means they are businessmen, writers, composers, etc. It all points to a systematic relationship between immigration and globalization.
The Global Economy
Over the past few decades a global economy has emerged and this has created large pools of expectant and possible migrants traveling to countries abroad to form economic, ideological and cultural links between host and home countries. These immigrant pioneers set a new scene for further migration to follow, and when the new migrants arrive, things are familiar to them. Take for example transnational literature, migrants writing about the cultures of their new home, comparing it to what their old life was like, has set the way for a preparation of the mind for those that follow.
The Old Village High Street
Walk into any modern city in the world and the shopping centers are full of the same brand names selling goods that are recognizable from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires. This is what globalization is all about, it is bringing the world together with a uniformity that everybody expects.
In the past, you could travel to a single country and one town or village high street would be completely different to another. There would be different vendors selling locally produced goods and services. Transnationalism can help to breach the wide gap between the two examples as it encourages exchanges of ideas and cultures through literature, media and other avenues. It is a way to personalize globalism and to offer a glimpse at another way of life.
The Driving Forces Behind Transnationalism
So, what is the main driving force behind transnationalism? To start with, it is the development of technology that has brought communication and travel to the masses at a low cost. This has impacted how relationships have been formed between places and people. Today, migrants can keep more regular and closer contact with their home, original society and culture than ever before.
Today’s transnational migrant engages in various activities that create new social fields that link their new country with their place of origin. These social fields come about through overlapping and interconnecting activities that could be cultural, social and economic. Thus, a bridge is formed that acts as a super information and cultural highway. Never before has this been as strong as it is today, and the integration between immigration and transnationalism is its core.