Conclusion: Theoretical convergencies and empirical evidence in the study of immigrant transnationalism

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356 Scopus citations


Conclusions to books or journal issues commonly seek to summarize the preceding articles or chapters and offer some general guidelines about the relevant subject matter. This is a demanding but feasible task when the preceding material consists of empirical studies that lend themselves to an effort of synthesis. When the contents of the book or journal are, as in this case, themselves summaries of the literature and general reflections on the character of the field, the synthetic enterprises become far more demanding. It is difficult to agree with the conclusions and prescriptions of some authors without disagreeing with those of others. It is also unfair to take advantage of having the last word to comment critically on the arguments or recommendations advanced in the preceding articles. The editors of this issue have ably summarized in their introduction the principal arguments presented in each article. It would be an unnecessary duplication to do so here. Instead, I propose to do the opposite of what is generally expected in a conclusion. That is, instead of presenting theoretical reflections on empirical materials, I intend to supplement the abundant theoretical arguments contained in this issue with a summary presentation of actual results. The latter come from the recently completed surveys of the Comparative Immigrant Entrepreneurship Project (CIEP). Before doing so, however, it would be useful to summarize some of the empirical and conceptual points on which the until-recently contentious literature on transnationalism has reached a measure of consensus. They represent indicators of progress, insofar as the weight of evidence and subsequent reflection on it have gradually led scholars from very different perspectives to agree on the tenability of certain arguments and the weakness of others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-892
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Migration Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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