Transnational migration, social capital and lifelong learning in the USA Academic Article uri icon


  • At the beginning of the twenty-first century, immigration continues to be a powerful force that shapes the US demographic landscape and hence influences all aspects of US lifeways. Unlike past waves of immigration, communication, media and transportation technologies enable todays immigrants to maintain strong ties and relationships with their homeland while they live and work in the host country. The transnational identities of todays immigrants have implications for lifelong learning across both nations. In their attempts to adapt in the new society, they form new networks and relationships with members of the host country and other kinfolks who preceded them in the border-crossing venture. At the same time, they continue to maintain relationships and ties with the homeland, drawing from social capital resources from both contexts. The purpose of this paper is to examine the intersection of immigration, transnationalization and lifelong learning through the lens of social capital theory. More specifically, drawing from the literature, it examines how networks and relationships inform learning and acculturation among todays ethnic minority immigrants. Findings from the literature suggest that ethnic minorities have strong bonding networks with members of their cultural and racial groups but weak bridging networks with those outside their group, which has implications for accessing funds of knowledge inherent in other network groups. 2010, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Alfred, M.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Alfred, Mary

publication date

  • March 2010