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Boundless FaithThe Global Outreach of American Churches$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520259157

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520259157.001.0001

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The Evolution of Transnational Ties

The Evolution of Transnational Ties

Changing patterns of social organization

(p.95) Chapter 4 The Evolution of Transnational Ties
Boundless Faith

Robert Wuthnow

University of California Press

The chapter explains the evolution of transnational ties. All transnational endeavors—multinational business organizations, overseas military campaigns, diplomacy, missionary and humanitarian programs—share two central challenges: distance and difference. Distance increases costs and makes coordination more difficult. Difference is marked especially by the cultural and language barriers that have to be overcome or circumvented for relationships to be established. The literature on globalization emphasizes distance and difference, holding that both are less important now than in the past and that their reduction is the main reason for increased trade and communication. In this view, globalization can best be understood as a result of air travel replacing steamships and satellite communications replacing the slower transmission of telegraph and telephone messages through transoceanic cables. Dissolving distance and difference also necessitates social organization.

Keywords:   transnational ties, social organization, diplomacy, military campaigns, globalization

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