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A working paper by Thomas Lacroix that proposes a new approach to transnationalism based on the basic components of structure/agency theory

This paper proposes a structure/agency approach to address the micro-, meso- and macro-level factors that account for cross-border phenomena. It compares the main structure/agency approaches: Bourdieu’s theory of practice, Giddens’ structuration theory and Archer’s morphogenetics. The paper takes the basic components of the structure/agency theory and uses them to define a new approach to transnationalism. The author suggests that the Habermas theory of communicative action and the non-Cartesian concept of the plural man provide a better framework for understanding the converging dynamic of actors’ practices and their structural impacts. Any form of transnational practice can be understood as the agentic strategies of migrants who want to overcome the fundamental contradiction of their position: being here but not from here, being from there but not there.

Download the working paper