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Sin Yee Koh

Who are 'transnational elites,' and what is particularly distinctive about their transnational networks, spaces and lifestyles? To address this question, this chapter reviews major developments in the social science literature on elite transnational networks, spaces and lifestyles. From the 1960 to the 1990s, scholarly literature under the influence of the globalization thesis focused on corporate/business elites and the transnational capitalist class (TCC). The turn of the twenty-first century saw a resurgence of interest in wealth elites, referred to as 'the super-rich,' 'high net worth individuals' (HNWI), and 'the one per cent.' A more recent development since the 2010s has shifted interest to the Global Middle Class (GMC), and in particular, their strategic cultural capital accumulation through transnational mobility. After providing an overview of the literature on 'elites,' the chapter discusses two themes: (1) elite transnational networks; and (2) elite spaces and lifestyles. The conclusion highlights common themes in emergent debates.

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Sin Yee Koh, Bart Wissink and Ray Forrest