Transnationalism as social resource

Transnational practices, ties and mobilities can be(come) a social resource for diaspora communities. But via which processes do diaspora communities and their members mobilize and capitalize upon such transnational assets? How are such resources activated and generated in mobilizing social and political action? I will present insights from an on-going comparative study that focuses on the mobilisation of second-generation Kurds in Finland and in France in the context of the Syrian civil war and the political unrest in Turkey. Drawing from the transnational frame and sociological theorisation on social capital, I will discuss second-generation Kurds’ transnational practices, ties and mobilities, and how they capitalize upon such resources to engage in the political and civic spheres of their parents’ homeland. Such transnational social capital can have a transformative dimension not only in the homeland context, but eventually also in the host country context.

Mari Toivanen