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The Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 created a new kind of discomfort in the U.S. about “self-radicalized” terrorists, particularly related to Muslim immigrants. The two suspected bombers, brothers with Chechen backgrounds, had attended U.S. public schools. News media portrayed the brothers as “immigrants” and often showed them as having a struggle between their Chechen and U.S. identities. This article proposes that educators consider reframing the talk and discourses about immigrants and immigration toward a more complex understanding of transnationalism. The author demonstrates her work as a former English language learner teacher and her current research in the area of transnationalism to argue for educators to teach meaningfully about this concept. The goal, the author argues, is to help create a deeper understanding of newer arrivals to the U.S. so that the more newly arrived have greater choices about who they become and the identities they perform.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Multicultural Perspectives on 13 November 2013, available online: