International Migration and Transnational Social Spaces : Their Evolution, Significance, and Future Prospects

Faist, Thomas


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Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: INIIS Uni Bremen
Schriftenreihe: InIIS-Arbeitspapier
Bandnummer: 09
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 1998
Publikationsdatum: 16.08.2008
Originalveröffentlichung: (1998)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.94 (Internationale Beziehungen: Sonstiges), 89.75 (Internationale Konflikte: Allgemeines), 89.41 (Staat und einzelne Gruppierungen)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

From International Migration to Transnational Social Spaces? For the viewers of the Turkish government channel "TRT Avraysa" on German cable TV it is obvious that some children of Turkish immigrants in Germany have embarked upon successful musical careers in both Turkey and Germany. For example, during the summer of 1995, the German-based Turkish rap group "Cartel" (now disbanded) replaced Michael Jackson from being number 1 in the Turkish charts. Also, the nightly news on German TV usually feature reports on the widely known Kurdish political-military organization - the Partiya Karkarên Kurdistan (PKK, Kurdistan Workers" Party). The PKK not only operates in Turkey but also tries to influence German politicians to exert pressure on its Turkish counterpart. Moreover, TV shows for Turkey are often produced in Germany and vice versa. For example, the state television engineers about a quarter of its shows for viewers of TRT Avrasya in Germany. The growing presence of Islamist groups is another example for ties that criss-cross nation-state borders. Not being allowed a formal status in the 1970s and 1980s in Turkey, these organizations have grown and flourished in Germany. Also, it has been obvious that the remittances of Turkish migrants have been complemented by a flow of goods and information in the other direction. In addition, remittances are now being gradually replaced by capital flows such as direct investments of the children of Turkish migrants who invest in textile production in Turkey but market their products in Germany. Similar observations can be made for many other cases of sending-destination linkages and ties, such between the Caribbean islands and the United States (see, for example, Pessar 1997) or Morocco and France. All these examples point towards a circular flow of persons, goods, information and symbols that has been triggered by international labor migration and refugee flows. These exchanges include the circulation of ideas, symbols and material culture, not only the movement of people. The question is how such transnational phenomena can be described, categorized and explained. Are these phenomena limited to the first generation of migrants, or have the one-and-a-half, second and third generations developed their own forms of transnational linkages? What are the implications for the incorporation of international migrants and their descendants in the economic, political and cultural realms in the countries of settlement? The existence of transnational spaces carries important implications for the insertion of immigrants and refugees in the receiving nation-states. Up until now, two main strategies or ways of responding to the new environment in the process of settlement have been available to newcomers: adaptation and segregation. Transnational spaces enlarge the range of responses.

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