“More ‘Trans-,’ Less ‘National’” and “Globalizing migration histories”

“More ‘Trans-,’ Less ‘National’” and “Globalizing migration histories”

“More ‘Trans-,’ Less ‘National’” By Matthew Jacobson explores the term transnationalism as it relates to the history of global movements along transportation routes, trans-oceanic movements, etc. Jacobson argues that transnationalism focuses more on the “national” aspect of the term rather than the “trans” portion. He supports this by introducing two nationalistic frameworks. The first being a cultures interest of immigration used a nationalism. The second is the distinction of social historians following the work of Oscar Handlin. Jacobson says that under these two factors, “trans” is easily lost into the “national.” He argues that using the national framework can limit the histories of immigration into just two categories of geographic movement and as legal standing or citizenship. In order to combat this, Jacobson urges for the incorporation of the “trans” aspect by substituting the emphasis of nation for continent and the recognition of importance of ethnic groups involved in global immigration.


“Globalizing migration histories” by Bruno Ramirez evaluates the uses and implications of the terms global, globalizing, and globalization. Ramirez explains that such words are often used by migration historians when evaluating migration/immigration patterns whether it be trans-Atlantic migration or regional continental movement. Ramirez breaks down the intended meanings of the different terms and how they’re prevalent in certain large migration examples. Global, he describes, is used in reference to certain time periods. Globalization focused more on movement like trade and population movements. Ramirez proves that this is evident in analyzing both the Italian and Canadian movements. Beginning with the Italian example, Ramirez examines that worldwide migrations of Italian immigrants led to a study of how these movements led to a globalization outlook. In contrast, using the Canadian example, Ramirez mentions that Canadians, whether they were French-Canadian or Anglo-Canadians, only had regional movements into the United States. However, he argues that had this study of immigration gained a greater interest by either Canadian or American historians, it could have gained a global perspective due to the similarities in migration patterns.

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