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Dr. Norm Matloff On Transnationalism In The High-Tech Industry: "What is an Asian engineer?"
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March 20, 2009, 12:17 AM
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Dr. Norm Matloff writes

I forgot to mention that a couple of the speakers in the Sloan conference raised the question, "What is an Asian engineer?" In case that phrasing confuses you, it was an allusion to the notion of transnationalism that is currently hot in some circles.

Two or three speakers mentioned it, but one in particular highlighted the point. His point, as I understood it, was that he is neither Indian nor American; he`s just transnational. I assume he`s a naturalized U.S. citizen, but he doesn`t view himself that way. He views the labor market as a global one, and by extension he views national boundaries as artificial nuisances.

This was the subject of a book by UC Berkeley professor Aihwa Ong (Flexible Citizenship: the Cultural Logics of Transnationality, Duke University Press, 1999), and a book on related topics by A. Aneesh of Stanford (Virtual Migration: the Programming of Globalization, Duke University Press, 2006). The Journal of International Migration and Integration invited me to write a review of Aneesh`s book last year; you can download it here.

Norm