Ties that bind: The strategic use of transnational relationships in demarcating identity and managing difference.
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35(8) pp. 1353–1371.
Transnational migration is disrupting definitions of cultural identity as its processes of cross-border mobility unsettle associations between people and place. Relationships, as one element of everyday cultural practice that circumscribes identity and belonging, are also affected by this mobility. Using data from qualitative research with Australian transnational professionals working in Asia, this paper elaborates on the interaction between identity and relationship formation. The findings indicate that participants' attempts to develop professional and social relationships in a new cultural context lead to a re-evaluation of identity and the development of mobile subjectivity to manage difference and re-find points of comfort defined by shared meanings. The analysis is placed within broader reflections on the processes of migration and the dynamics of cultural change that are taking place within transnational global flows, supporting arguments that processes of deterritorialisation do not necessarily equate with declining allegiance to a national identity.
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