P113
Experiencing movement: subjectivity and structure in contemporary migration

Convenors:
Knut Graw (Catholic University of Leuven)
Samuli Schielke (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO))
Location:
Tower B, Piso 3, Room T10
Start time:
18 April, 2011 at 11:30
Session slots:
4

Short abstract:

Drawing upon documentary and ethnographic approaches focusing on personal narratives, life histories, and extended case studies, the panel 'Experiencing Migration' investigates the subjective, emotional, and existential dimensions of migration in a variety of different geographical contexts.

Long abstract:

With the increase in migration in a multitude of contexts worldwide, many people are confronted with new and often challenging socioeconomic and sociopolitical conditions. With large parts of migration studies being primarily preoccupied with the economic and political dimensions of these processes, the personal and emotional impact of the actual act and condition of migration often remains out of sight. Responding to this situation and drawing upon ethnographic approaches focusing on personal narratives, life histories, and extended case studies, the panel 'Experiencing Migration' intends to contribute to an emergent field of literature in anthropology and other disciplines concerned with the subjective, emotional, and existential dimensions of migration. This includes the ambivalence expressed in many migration narratives, which are usually not unisonous but seem to oscillate between expressions of subjectivity characterized by resourcefulness and resilience, on the one hand, and of subjectivization through marginalization and exclusion, on the other. In an attempt to come to terms with the specificities of different locales as well as with the shared properties of the experience of informal labor migration today, the panel invites contributions that deal with different geographical contexts reaching from more 'traditional' migration destinations such as Europe, the US, and Canada to more recent or emergent labor markets worldwide. Furthermore, the panel is concerned with the possible theoretical implications of such a more existential and cross-regional approach to migration for our general understanding of the dynamics and consequences of migration, both for the individual as well as for the different sociocultural settings concerned.