The Transnational Political Involvement of Nigerian Immigrants in New York City: Motivations, Means and Constraints

By Rodriguez, Leila | Journal of International and Global Studies, November 2014 | Go to article overview

The Transnational Political Involvement of Nigerian Immigrants in New York City: Motivations, Means and Constraints


Rodriguez, Leila, Journal of International and Global Studies


Introduction

There is a growing recognition among migration scholars that immigrants increasingly maintain links to their homelands, and that these multiple ties have important consequences for both their sending and receiving countries. Transnational migration is the process by which "immigrants forge and sustain simultaneous multi-stranded social relationships that link together their societies of origin and settlement" (Glick Schiller et al., 1995: 48). More broadly, the concept of transnationalism refers to processes that transcend the boundaries of individual nation-states, and are bound to the constraints and opportunities of their specific contexts (Guarnizo & Smith, 1998). Transnationalism can occur in economic, political or sociocultural spheres (Portes, 2001) and also differs in its level of institutionalization (Portes, Guarnizo & Landholt, 1999). Two perspectives dominate the discussion of political transnationalism as it pertains to immigrants. One perspective views it as a grassroots movement, an expression of "bottom-up" resistance (Guarnizo, 2001; Portes, 2003). In this view, marginalized people use transnational activities to resist state and other forms of domination. An alternative perspective interprets transnational political practices as enabling states to exert power outside their traditional jurisdiction (Glick Schiller, 1999). Specifically, countries of origin seek to incorporate immigrants, who are beyond their territory, into their national projects.

Immigrants can be involved in the politics of their country of reception and/or in the politics of their country of origin in multiple ways. When naturalized, immigrants vote in their receiving country's elections on many issues, including but not limited to immigration policy (Guarnizo, 2001; Levitt & Jaworksky, 2007; Richman, 2008). Naturalized immigrants also participate in local politics and are even voted into office (Richman, 2008). Immigrant hometown associations can organize national mobilization and protests (Richman, 2008), and provide aid to immigrants' hometowns. Finally, immigrants can become directly involved in political activities in their home countries, either by voting in elections, campaigning for political parties, or by being courted abroad by home candidates. Among some immigrant groups like Dominicans in New York City, home country political parties have established offices in immigrants' new neighborhoods (Guarnizo, 2001).

Some scholars have questioned early studies of immigrant transnational political participation on the grounds that the scope of immigrant transnationalism has been overestimated and that it does not represent a new phenomenon (Portes, 2001). However, despite evidence that only a small percentage of immigrants become involved in transnational activities, their impact in both their sending and receiving countries is significant and has macrosocial consequences (Portes, 2001; Portes, 2003). Similarly, while recent immigrants to the United States are not the first to undertake transnational activities, some aspects of their use, reach and impact are different than anything previous because both the global and local contexts, as well as the composition of the immigrant groups, have changed substantially (Guarnizo, 2001). Compared to older waves of immigrants, contemporary ones are more informed about the U.S., the local and global contexts in which their transnational activities are embedded are very different and more interconnected, and their home country seeks to institutionalize these activities in unprecedented ways (Guarnizo, 2001).

Finally, research shows that transnational activities oriented towards the country of origin can occur simultaneously with those oriented towards the host society (Bermudez, 2010). This is because the process of incorporation does not necessarily weaken transnational participation (Itzigsohn and Saucedo, 2002). Rather, context of reception and mode of incorporation lead to different causal paths to transnational practices (Itzigsohn and Saucedo, 2002). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Transnational Political Involvement of Nigerian Immigrants in New York City: Motivations, Means and Constraints
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.