University of Southern California
Annenberg School for Communication

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Localizing the Global: Exploring the Transnational Ties That Bind in New Immigrant Communities
March 2, 2009

Localizing the Global: Exploring the Transnational Ties That Bind in New Immigrant Communities


Wan-Ying Lin
Assistant Professor
Department of Media and Communication
City University of Hong Kong
Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon

Hayeon Song
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Sandra Ball-Rokeach
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Southern California

Journal of Communication (In Press)

This paper is a part of an ongoing research project, Metamorphosis,
conducted under the auspices of the Communication Technology and Community
Program. It is funded by the Annenberg Center and the Annenberg School for
Communication at the University of Southern California, and the Los Angeles
County First Five Proposition 10 Commission, Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach,
principal investigator.


The contested notion of transnationalism has generated new insights into
international migrants ongoing ties with their communities of origin as
well as their diasporic communities. This study seeks to examine the ways in
which transnational life is lived at different local levels. In
particular, we ask: What are some of the important aspects of immigrants
life that are enacted across borders, including transnational communication
practices? To what extent are ethnic media that serve the immigrant
population connected to home countries in content and operation? To what
extent does transnational news have local and global implications? Multiple
methods are employed in this study, including a telephone survey of
immigrant communities, interviews with media producers and senior editors,
and a content analysis of ethnic newspapers. As one of the earliest attempts
to quantify immigrants transnational activities, this study demonstrates
that these activities go beyond the economic domain to include more social
aspects and communication practices in immigrants everyday lives. The
investigation of transnational communication networks attests to the
prevalence and the diversity of transnational activities in Los Angeles new
immigrant communities.

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