This panel will look at population movements, whether through voluntary or forced migration, at immigration policies and their underlying moral economies, and at ways in which individuals and groups seek to maintain or change and conceal their cultural identities in new settings.
While population movement is not a new phenomenon, it has not until recently been a major focus of anthropological attention. In this panel we wish to invite papers that look at both forced and voluntary migration and the formation of diasporic communities. These could be internal movements within a country, or international, and might involve individuals or larger groups. We are interested in different types of migrant: refugees, asylum seekers and other displaced persons, including women and children, but also migrant labour, people moving for education or professional advancement. We would like proposals to focus on the logics of national and international immigration and asylum policies and their impact on both the migrants and the societies where they move. Attention should be paid to the relations between groups and individuals who are seeking to maintain a cultural link with one another and with a home area and population, and the means by which this is done, such as travel, use of the Internet or other technologies. The diversity of the new forms of identification through migration and within diasporas, the invention of traditions as well as the appropriation of new cultures, should be stressed. Papers should ask how and why certain choices are made and the political, economic and social circumstances that lead to different types of migratory career and diasporic community.