The purpose of the study is to discuss the implications of the prefix “trans” for our current culture when the word is associated with different concepts, as a way of identifying a variety of problems and possibilities that occur at the boundary (or transcending the boundary) that do not or cannot belong anywhere else. The prefix “trans” refers to the process of crossing, transcending, or passing through a boundary. As a prefix of a verb, it means the act of transferring, transcending, trespassing, and transgressing. But the factors that make up such acts are not always physical, and the boundaries do not necessarily refer to the borders between nations.
The prefix “trans-,” which cannot be used alone, presents a new paradigm for the domains of glocalization, medium, gender, human nature, and academics by being added to words like “transculturality,” “transmediality,” “transidentity,” and “transdicipline.” The prefix “inter-,” often compared with “trans-” in the current cultural paradigm, has the connotation of a mutual relationship and two-way communication between two equal entities, and another prefix, “multi-,” implies multi-centered, enumeration, co-existence, and relativism (not involved in or intervening in others’ affairs). By contrast, the assumption that lies behind “trans-” is a holistic, meta-community, such as is expressed in the concepts of cyber network and global village, where mutual involvement, intervention, infiltration and influence lead to the changes in individual entities and in the identity of the community. This identity is not a single identity, but a “hyphenated identity.” In other words, it is a double identity that refers to ethnic and cultural identity. The hyphenated identity also rejects the premise that there are two realms that are separated by a border. Now, the dynamics of networks open to sub-entities are shifting from the dichotomous paradigm that guided thinking on the relationship between center and periphery.
The process of crossing, transcending, and changing that lies behind “trans-” implies a process of initiation. The space for “trans” does not mean a “house” but a “road.” It does not point to a private space to stay and settle, but to a social space characterized by mobility, interaction, and change. The culture, ego, academics, and media of our time, a time dominated by a discourse of “trans” that symbolizes the process of initiation, force one to risk losing one’s self in order to find one’s self. It is a venture involving a process of introspection that takes place at academic boundaries and at territorial borders. The transcendence in the discourse on “trans-” refers not to metaphysical transcendence, but to a change from one attitude to another. Only for this reason can “trans-” serve as another perspective allowing us to gain insight into our time and culture.