OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society

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OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 9 , No. 1

[ Article ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 9, No. 1, pp.59-89
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2019
Received 27 Oct 2018 Revised 20 Dec 2018 Accepted 27 Dec 2018

Framing the Transnational Mobilities of Two-step Migrants within a Heideggerian Perspective
Chi Hong Nguyen
FPT University, Vietnam


Transnational mobilities of skilled migrants are said to be interrelated. However, the extent to which this interrelation is addressed remains ambiguous among extant literature. One of the reasons for this ambiguity is that skilled migrants often negotiate to make sense of their mobilities based on a wide range of influences from various aspects of life, and the ways they follow their life course are not always rational or consistent. Exploring the interrelatedness of influences in transnational mobilities requires researchers to go beyond explicating separate socio-economic, political or individual scales, but take a holistic approach instead. This article proposes a theoretical framework used to examine such relationalities. By adopting Heidegger’s (1962) philosophical concept of “being-in-the-world”, this framework allows migration and transnationalism researchers to explore the negotiation of transnational mobilities with respect to migrants’ interrelated interactions with things and others in a social milieu where they sometimes follow public norms and at other times break with these regularities to make sense of their migration as an on-going process. An examination of skilled migrants’ specific ways of being-in-the-world also enables researchers to challenge the relation between spatiality and temporality which has been conventionally seen as separate entities. This framework has the potential to systematize the relationality of transnational mobilities that sporadic studies have mentioned but been unable to theorize in terms of migrants’ everyday interactions with things and others across multiple spatio-temporal locales.

Keywords: being-in-the-world, Heidegger, skilled migration, transnational mobilities


This paper evolved from a part of the author’s doctoral dissertation published by the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2015.

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Biographical Note

Chi Hong Nguyen is currently working as a Head of the English Language Division at FPT University on Can Tho City Campus. His main research areas include transnational mobilities of skilled migrants, international student mobilities and international education. E-mail: (