Review of Virtual Migration, by A. Aneesh
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Possibly unnoticed by many, the fundamental notion of what it means to be an immigrant is changing rapidly. Aihwa Ong (1999), for example, argues the need for a new category, transnationals, consisting of people who not only hold citizenship or resident status in two countries, but in fact live in both of them, in commuter fashion. All this is of course facilitated by technology—fast air travel, cheap telephone communication, e-mail, and the like.
In his book, Virtual Migration: the Programming of Globalization (Duke University Press, 2006), A. Aneesh takes this a step further. The impact of technology is so profound that many now “migrate” without leaving their home towns. Importation of labor, one of the traditional goals of immigration policy, is now reversed: Modern technological mechanisms now make it easier to move the work rather than move the workers, and offshoring of IT work is booming.
Contemporaneously, we are seeing an evolution of power, with control flowing now to...
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