SOC783 Transnational Studies

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2018
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 10 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky, Ph.D. (lecturer)
prof. PhDr. Ladislav Rabušic, CSc.
Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Ing. Soňa Enenkelová
Supplier department: Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Thu 15:15–16:45 U34
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 25 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 11/25, only registered: 0/25, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/25
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Course objectives

In recent years, 'transnationalism' has become a common reference across the social sciences. Moving beyond theoretical approaches to the study of global social phenomena that have traditionally centered on the nation state as the central conceptual unit of analysis, transnational studies considers social life as the constantly evolving product of multiple economic, political, cultural and historical factors that manifest across ‘social fields.’

This course charts the evolution of transnational studies from a sociological standpoint, taking into account multiple forms of regional, international and local scales, identities and scopes of inquiry. We will compare and contrast transnational dynamics in various social spheres – the state, the economy, the family, education, religion and civil society – to rethink assumptions about identity, sovereignty, citizenship and the political economy.

Utilizing theoretical work and empirical research from sociology, history, politics, economics, anthropology and cultural studies, we explore the ways that transnational practices and processes manifest, relate to, and inform each other in different domains, and at different levels of social interaction, affecting the organization of social life during different historical periods.
By the end of the semester, students should be able to:
• Define and discuss the concept of transnationalism
• Review and analyze its historical evolution
• Compare and contrast transnational practices in different domains and at different levels of social interaction
• Apply a sociological lens for analysis of transnational phenomena in various social spheres, including the state, the economy, the family, education, religion and civil society
• Assess and apply transnational research methods
  • 1st Seminar: Definition of Key Terms and Broad Foundations - What is ‘Transnationalism’?
  • 2nd Seminar: Historical Perspectives
  • 3rd Seminar: Arts and Culture
  • 4th Seminar: The Diffusion of Values, Norms and Meanings
  • 5th Seminar: Revolutions across Borders? The Case of the Color Revolutions
  • 6th Seminar: Religious Life across Borders and Transnational Islam
  • 7th Seminar: NO CLASS - Reading Week
  • 8th Seminar: Migration
  • 9th Seminar: The Case of Refugees
  • 10th Seminar: Corporations, Classes and Capitalism
  • 11th Seminar: Security, Crime and Violence (focus on terrorism)
  • 12th Seminar: Methodological Practices – what does it mean to use a ‘transnational lens’ to study social phenomena?
  • 13th Seminar: Student Presentations
    required literature
  • The transnational studies reader : intersections and innovations. Edited by Sanjeev Khagram - Peggy Levitt. New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2008. xii, 575. ISBN 9780415953733. info
  • LEVITT, Peggy. The transnational villagers. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. x, 281. ISBN 0520228138. info
    recommended literature
  • LEVITT, Peggy. God needs no passport : immigrants and the changing American religious landscape. New York: Distributed by W.W. Norton & Company, 2007. xii, 270. ISBN 9781595581693. info
  • BASCH, Linda G., Nina Glick SCHILLER and Cristina SZANTON BLANC. Nations unbound : transnational projects, postcolonial predicaments, and deterritorialized nation-states. London: Routledge, 1994. 344 p. ISBN 2881246303. info
Teaching methods
Conditions for passing the course:

1. Regular Attendance and active participation in seminar discussions (“Even to have expressed a false thought boldly and clearly is already to have gained a great deal.” Ludwig Wittgenstein)
2. Short (1-page) weekly discussion papers. (The papers should be a reaction/critical engagement rather than a simple summary of the readings assigned for the week. You should focus on the questions you want to ask in the class, or point to gaps and conflicts in one or more readings.)
3. Being a presenter/discussant for one assigned reading. (A presenter/discussant will be responsible for presenting and leading a discussion about one of the assigned readings.)
4. Written final exam (5 essay questions to be answered outside of class)
5. Final essay or research proposal (topic of student’s choice in consultation with instructor; 3,000-4,000 words; 10-12 pages)
Assessment methods
Particular activities of students will be evaluated as follows:
25% - reading, discussion papers and class participation
15% - discussion leadership
25% - written exam
35 % - academic paper

Each student can obtain 100 points maximum; in case of reaching less than 60 points, student fails.

Evaluation is based upon these principles:
90-100 points A
80-89 points B
70-79 points C
66-69 points D
60-65 points E
0-59 points F
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2010, Spring 2011, Autumn 2011, Autumn 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2017.
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