Transnationalism and the spaces of commodity culture

Philip Crang, Peter Jackson, Claire Dwyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a critical assessment of the concept of transnationalism and its place within the current refiguration of cultural geography. Identifying three specific concerns with current theorizations of transnationalism (regarding the concept's scope, specificity and politics), the paper discusses the widely perceived need to ‘ground’ the study of transnationalism in specific empirical research. It argues that this discussion has been unhelpfully dominated by an overemphasis on identifying transnational migrant and diasporic communities. The paper highlights the authors' research with a range of food and fashion firms working between Britain and the Indian subcontinent to argue that an analysis of commodity culture provides an alternative way of advancing our understanding of contemporary transnationality. This approach suggests that transnational space can be recognized as both multidimensional and multiply inhabited. The paper concludes by outlining the alternative ways in which attention to commodity culture helps ‘ground’ the concept of transnationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-456
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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