Commentary on the Study of Transnationalism: Pitfalls and Promise of an Emergent Research Field

Alejandro Portes, Luis Eduardo Guarnizo & Patricia Landolt
Published in
Ethnic and Racial Studies

"Janine Dahinden has written a thoughtful and provocative commentary on our 1999 article on immigrant transnationalism. We agree with many of her points and even with some of the critiques leveled at the original article. Before commenting on this, it may be worth recalling where things were back in the 1990s and what our article attempted to accomplish then. The enthusiasm unleashed by Nations Unbound by social anthropologists Basch, Glick-Schiller, and Blanc- Szanton (1994) was followed by a veritable explosion of both qualitative studies and speculative writings leading to the impression that all immigrants were involved in transnational activities and that transnationalism represented a new 'paradigm' for the understanding of global phenomena."