The Underlying Analytical Power of Transnational and Diasporic Approaches
The author considers several themes raised within this volume of essays, including the utility of “transnationalism” as a concept; the importance of connecting multiple sites in order to understand the archaeological record; and considerations of other kinds of evidence such as oral histories, family stories, and memory, rather than archival and archaeological remains. The author suggests considering network theory and the analysis of sites as nodes within complex translocal migration networks, within which migrants circulated and moved objects and ideas as well as their own bodies. Narratives of meaning and desire, particularly concerning social and economic mobility, shaped and fuelled mobility within these networks, where the mobility of knowledge is perhaps the most important object in motion. Intelligence networks moved valuable information and social networks reproduced technologies such as shareholding small businesses, food preservation techniques, and mobilizing trust and credit across distances.
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