Beyond Methodological Nationalism
Research Methodologies for Cross-Border Studies
Edited by Anna Amelina, Devrimsel D. Nergiz, Thomas Faist, Nina Glick Schiller
Routledge – 2012 – 260 pages
Cross-border studies have become attractive for a number of fields, including international migration, studies of material and cultural globalization, and history. While cross-border studies have expanded, the critique on nation-centered research lens has also grown. This book revisits drawbacks of methodological nationalism in theory and methodological strategies. It summarizes research methodologies of the current studies on transnationalization and globalization, such as multi-scalar and transnational approaches, global and multi-sited ethnography, as well as the entangled history approach and the incorporating comparison approach. This collected volume goes beyond rhetorical criticism on methodological nationalism, which is mainly associated with the ignorance and naturalization of national categories. It proffers insights for the systematic implementation of novel research strategies within empirical studies deployed by young and senior scholars. The novelty lies in an interdisciplinary lens ranging from sociology, social anthropology and history.
"This book brings together various theoretical stances and empirical research strategies from sociology, anthropology, and history that help overcoming the container model of nationally bounded societies. Focusing on border-crossing social fields established by migrants or cultural flows, the territorial localization and confinement of social processes at other levels than the nation-state, the interrelations and connections between historical developments across vast spaces, the chapters push our understanding of the nature of the social world in new directions."
- Andreas Wimmer, University of California Los Angeles
"The critique of methodological nationalism has been widely accepted by critical social scientists. Yet how does one actually do transborder or transnational research when data, policies and public perceptions are still caught up in national frameworks? This important book shows the way by analyzing emerging options for conceptualizing the social in an epoch of globalization. Even more importantly, the authors present their own varied experiences of operationalizing cross-border processes to allow new forms of empirical investigation. The work provides an essential guide to methodologies and methods for researchers of contemporary transformations."
- Stephen Castles, The University of Sydney
"An important next step in the theoretical journey toward thinking outside the nation-state box. The authors model innovative methodologies, suggest new epistemologies, and specify new spaces and units of analysis that will help move scholarship beyond methodogical nationalism."
- Peggy Levitt, author of God Needs No Passport
"Theoretical critiques of methodological nationalism have been in the air for some years now. This volume importantly grounds and advances the concept through thoughtful, empirically rich and multi-disciplinary studies. It is an essential text for anyone involved in cross-border studies."
- Steve Vertovec, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
1. Methodological Predicaments of Cross-Border Studies Anna Amelina, Thomas Faist, Nina Glick Schiller and Devrimsel D. Nergiz Part I: Researching International Migration after Redefining Spatiality and Mobility 2. Transnationality, Migrants and Cities: A Comparative Approach Nina Glick Schiller 3. Transnational Migration and the Reformulation of Analytical Categories: Unpacking Latin American Refugee Dynamics in Toronto Luin Goldring and Patricia Landolt 4. Overcoming Methodological Nationalism in Migration Research: Cases and Contexts in Multi-Level Comparisons Anja Weiß and Arnd-Michael Nohl Part II: Material, Culture and Ethnicity: Overcoming Pitfalls in Researching Globalization 5. Global Ethnography 2.0: From Methodological Nationalism to Methodological Materialism Zsuzsa Gille 6. Uncomfortable Antinomies: Going Beyond Methodological Nationalism in Social and Cultural Anthropology David Gellner 7. Approaching Indigenous Activism from the Ground Up: Experiences from Bangladesh Eva Gerharz Part III: Juxtapositions of Historiography after the Hegemony of the National 8. The Global, the Transnational, and the Subaltern: The Limits of History Beyond the National Paradigm Angelika Epple 9. Incorporating Comparisons in the Rift: Making Use of Cross-Place Events and Histories in Moments of World Historical Change Sandra Curtis Comstock 10. Interrogating Critiques of Methodological Nationalism: Propositions for New Methodologies Radhika Mongia Part IV: Conclusions 11. Transnational Social Spaces: Between Methodological Nationalism and Cosmo-Globalism Ludger Pries and Martin Seeliger 12. Concluding Remarks: Reconsidering Contexts and Units of Analysis Thomas Faist and Devrimsel D. Nergiz
Anna Amelina is a researcher at the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University.
Devrimsel D. Nergiz is a Doctoral Fellow at Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS).
Thomas Faist is Professor of Transnational Relations and Sociology of Development at the Department of Sociology, Bielefeld University.
Nina Glick Schiller is the Director of the Cosmopolitan Cultures Institute and Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester.