Transnationalism is Nationalism

Does media still play a role in sustaining nationalism, even if media technology is less about broadcast or “mass” communication?

According to Karim H. Karim, with the availability of new communication technologies, diasporas are able to obtain cultural materials with growing ease from other parts of the world (2009). The role of the diaspora in international communication complexes the idea of nationalism in that it removes the strict identifier of a tangible border. Members of transnational diasporas do not replace nation-states but locate themselves within them and across them (Karim). To me, nationalism is no less sustained than it was before; new technologies in media have evolved nationalism into something more diverse and the recession of boundaries is good for greater connectivity.

Critics of globalization believe that it will cause more division among people but actually it is creating a distinct notion of diversity and members actively participate in transnational economic activity. People now connect in more ways than on a level of “same country” or “same ethnicity, according to the standard definition of nationalism.  Although ethnic media has a hard time reaching their audiences, they are still able to connect in a way that mainstream media cannot. The Internet and social media also allow for easier connections and access to information in contrast with the broadcast model which offers limited access to minority groups, is linear, hierarchical and capital-intensive (Karim). Immigrant communities benefit greatly in that online, they can stay connected to their respective homelands and resist the influence of the dominant culture in which they now live.

This new technology caters to a larger, more diverse audience and it in no way dissipates nationalism but largely, redefines it.

– Laurel B.


Karim H. Karim “Re-viewing the ‘National’ in ‘International Communication’ Through the Lens of Diaspora” in International Communications: A Reader, ed. Thussu, Daya K. (London: Routeledge, 2009)


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