Evolving humanity, emerging worlds
Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013
The causes and diversity of migration processes (IUAES Commission on Migration and Diaspora)
Location University Place 6.208
Date and Start Time 08 Aug, 2013 at 14:00
This panel considers how Migrant and Diaspora populations are created through diverse processes such as political turmoil, economic opportunism, social marginalisation, poaching of expertise and travel and adventurism
Migration within and across national frontiers is not likely to end any time soon. The prevalence of poverty in burgeoning economies such as China and India, the spring uprisings in the Middle-East, and ongoing political turmoil in many African countries continue to feed the flow of people to countries perceived to offer more. While India has become a net exporter of professionalism, China has become an exporter of capital and entrepreneurial skills. The Middle-East and Africa provide not only significant amounts of human capital through their export of professional expertise, but also a substantial proportion of refugees escaping the turmoil created by autocratic patrimonialism and military juntas. The search for professionals in categories where knowledge workers are in short supply in developed countries is often insensitive to the needs of the giving countries. The brain drain, capital export, transfer of entrepreneurial skills and flight from internecine violence is impoverishing to the countries that have become victim to the losses of its people for one or more of these reasons. As migration levels increase to particular areas of the world, people from common geographical regions tend to gravitate towards one another in order to recreate a sense of "community", giving rise to Diasporas.
We call for papers on how Migrant and Diaspora populations are created by: Political turmoil through corruption, cronyism, civilian violence and paramilitary violence; Economic opportunism; Marginalisation as a result of racial, ethnic or religious affiliation; poaching of professional and artisanal expertise; travel and adventurism
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Deterritorialized funeral fund-raising as subaltern public sphere activities; a case of FSM migrants in Guam
Deterritorialized funeral fund-raising activities for migrants,
who passed away in their destination, will be depicted as the emergence of a
subaltern public sphere, which connects the migrants and home, outer islands
of Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia.
This paper reports the emergence of a deterritorialized subaltern public
sphere, which connects migrants in destination and home, outer islands of
Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia. Since the Compact of Free
Association between U.S. and FSM in 1986, migrants fluxed into U.S. The
U.S. government agency warned the impact of the migration in the areas of
labor market, education and health, and asked for remedial measures against
the migration. Countering these moves, some local agencies and NGO's
emphasized the economic and cultural contributions by migrants to the host
society. These are major fronts of argument about migrants in Guam.
However, in this public arena, not so much attention is paid to activities
of migrants themselves. The detailed ethnography reveals that fund-raising
activities for trans-local funerals of migrants, who passed away in
destination, are one of the main activities of migrant associations. Large
amounts of money, which exceed annual per capita income at home, are raised
through an elaborated network of relatives and island mates, and successive
funeral ceremonies accompany a movement of deceased migrant toward home.
These activities are not noticed in host societies.
It will be argued that a deterritorialized public sphere is emerging,
connecting migrants and home through the attention people pay to each
other's body and life, while stereo-typical understandings and talks about
migrants hide the existence of subaltern public sphere of migrants from FSM.
University Boom in Ethiopia & Professional Abundance in India - The Making of a New Diaspora?
Ethiopia currently experiences an explosion of higher education institutions and can offer a minimal curriculum only with the help of incoming Indian scientists. The paper wants to inquire why Indian experts are interested in teaching in Ethiopia and if they can be considered a part of the Indian diaspora.
Since several years now Ethiopia has been experiencing a boom in universities. Most of the 22 universities have not been existing for more than a decade and the establishment of 9 more has already been decided. From this emphasis on the expansion of higher education Ethiopia expects a general development impulse and the creation of a larger middle-class. However, the explosion of higher education institutions and the brain drain leave a vacuum of expertise at Ethiopian universities for the moment. Only with the help of foreign lecturers and a decrease of the qualification of much of the local university staff a minimal curriculum can be offered. Most of the foreign lecturers, who are in the country, are from India. As of the high demand for Indian lecturers several agencies have specialized themselves on the recruitment of new lecturers for Ethiopia.
By research in a northern Ethiopian university town and on expats forums in the web, the paper wants to inquire why Indian scientists are interested in filling this vacuum at Ethiopian universities and if the Indian scientists in Ethiopian can be considered a part of the Indian diaspora.
Creating Social Capital: The Case of the Irish Community in Munich
My paper explores the building of social capital amongst Irish migrants in Munich, Germany. Drawing on life history data, I trace the evolution of this local community since the 1970s and examine the role of social bonding and bridging in the creation of a Diaspora community.
This paper will discuss the formation process of the Irish community in Munich, Germany. The ethnographic study seeks to trace the evolution of this community between 1972 and 2012. Drawing on life history data, I delve into the strategies Irish migrants have chosen to cope with the predicament of emigration. The life story interviews were periodically complemented by participant observation. The story of the Munich Irish depicts how Irish migrants established a Diaspora community in the Bavarian capital. Building social capital appears to be the major strategy of Irish immigrants in Munich to overcome marginalization. Social capital is most commonly conceptualised as the aggregate of resources possessed through personal networks. During ethnographic fieldwork, I explored local churches, migrant associations, Irish sport, literature and folk clubs with regard to inward and outward looking networks. According to the evidence studied, Irish migrants combine cosmopolitan bridging across diverse communities and social bonding with other Irish migrants. In this way, they create liminal spaces within which Irish culture and religiosity is conserved and gain access to local resources. Apart from local networks, Irish migrants have also created transnational linkages to further sites of the Irish Diaspora which have currently been reshaped by the use of digital communication methods. The case of Munich's Irish community provides an example of how Diaspora communities are formed and how diversity and difference are negotiated in the global age.
Globalized Reciprocity: Development of Fine Mat Exchange in Samoan Transnationalism
Although cash economy has been developed in Samoa, the moral of reciprocity is still persisting. The core of reciprocity is ceremonial exchange involving fine mats which has been practiced not only by local Samoans but migrant Samoans as well. In a way, the reciprocity has been extended with the expansion of the Samoan world.
I would examine the development of fine mat exchange in order to demonstrate the persistence of reciprocity in the contemporary transnational Samoan world. Samoan fine mats are valuables elaborately woven only by the hands of women. Fine mats without utility values are used as gifts in ceremonial contexts. They have been often explained as a currency since they circulate within the society. They were important tōga which should be reciprocated for 'oloa (used to be mainly food but including money nowadays) in ceremonial exchanges. The affluent remittances by Samoan migrants activated ceremonial exchanges at home after WWII. Not only that, Samoan ceremonial exchanges were brought to be practiced outside of Samoa as the expansion of the Samoan migration. Reciprocity between homeland Samoans and their overseas relations brought many fine mats overseas and in order to produce more fine mats the quality of fine mats became so rough. Since many fine mats are circulated in migrant communities, the ceremonies overseas are more extravagant than those at home. Recently, the Samoan government intervened with a cultural policy of conserving traditional technology of authentic fine mat weaving. It is not only a cultural conservation program but also an implementation of female income generation. The policy pushed new fine mats of high quality in the realm of commodities. Nevertheless, it is important to note that commodification of fine mats has been supported by the ceremonial exchange. Because Samoans cannot do without giving fine mats in ceremonies, they need to buy. The reciprocity is still quite important part of moral economy for Samoans.
Struggling against permanent uncertainty: informal neighbourhoods in Bogotá (Colombia)
This article focuses on the strategy of colombian displaced migrants for adapting to a context marked by perennial and unpredictable change and chronic violence in informal neighbourhoods in Bogotá. It also analyzes the motivations of these massive migration and its political implications.
There are around 3 million people who have been forcefully displaced from their homes as a direct or indirect consequence of the armed conflict in Colombia. Threats, human rights violations, forced recruitment and armed confrontations have pushed millions of people, into moving to major cities in search for opportunities or state help which often isn't received or isn't enough. In Bogotà, as the city that receives the most of both displaced and economic migrants they are forced to relocate illegally and manually construct temporary shelters that have become shanty towns on the outskirts of Bogotà. The struggle of these people takes place in a country of total impunity and where the act of silence is not only a way of surviving but also a military strategy.
Contrary to expectations, the present government has not decreased the number of displaced people. In fact, the number is on the rise, due to the actions of both the state military and the illegal armed groups and paramilitaries. Millions of hectares of productive land have been abandoned and millions of displaced people have arrived in Bogotá. One of the basic characteristics of the Colombian armed conflict is the fact that all the groups in conflict have refused the possibility of making a real distinction between civilians and combatants and that is why violence is increasing in many Colombian cities. This increase of urban violence is related to the dynamics of the armed conflict, to drug trafficking and organized crime and to social cleansing acts.
"Globally mobile self" as postponed hope: gendered trans-pacific migration of the young Japanese
Based on fieldwork in Canada, Australia and Japan, this paper examines how the covert gender and class inequality in contemporary Japan affects the migration behavior and discourses of Japanese women and men, and what kinds of “hope” are distributed to what groups.
Based on fieldwork and interviews in Canada, Australia and Japan, this paper examines how the covert gender and class inequality in contemporary Japan affects the migration behavior and discourses of Japanese women and men, and what kinds of "hope" are distributed to what groups. While elite young men are socially most expected to be "internationalized, global human resource" that serves Japanese society, non-elite young women are actually the most active migrants to overseas and are willing to work for either host countries or home countries. Some elite women and non-elite men join this group. Non-elite women, who are the most peripheralized workers in homeland, appear to be most hopeless in domestic settings, but are actually the freest to leave homeland. Migration industry, itself feminized, keeps selling to these women hope of becoming globally mobile, career-oriented self, although in reality chances are rare. Elite men, meanwhile, are encouraged to work globally while promised to remain in mainstream, which at the same time means that they are pressured to be home-bound. In either case, "self as a globally mobile specialist" remains more in illusion than in reality.
"We are very much the same": non-economic motivations for transnational migration among Bulgarians from the late 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century
In this paper I will examine how Bulgarian migrants construct new symbolic meanings to cultural distance and closeness that help them to define certain privileged destinations over others and, at the same time, that allow them to face and to cope the difficulties involved in transnational migration.
Until quite recently, most literature on migration has focused on examining how economic aspects shape current transnational migration; yet, a growing corpus of academic texts are also exploring how, besides the economicist viewpoint, there are also other cultural and symbolic aspects that define how, when, where and who migrates. Based upon fieldwork among Bulgarian migrants in Spain from year 2000 to 2010, in this paper I will look at the different waves of Bulgarian migrants to Spain in order to analyze how cultural factors are critical to understand these migratory flows. Beginning with the migratory movements originated after the collapse of the socialist-driven societies of Eastern Europe, when Bulgarians as well as other Eastern Europeans had to face deep political, economic and sociocultural changes, in this paper I analyze how certain destinations such as Spain have become to be regarded as privileged destinations not only in relationship to economic aspects (indeed, other central and northern European states offer better labour conditions -e.g. higher salaries and better social services), but especially in relationship to the cultural meanings given to the family, to the peer-groups and to work-related activities. By exploring these issues I wish to bring new light on how transnational migrants re-elaborate and mediate the distance and closeness between the 'home country' and the 'destination country'.
Ugandan Indian 'Re-Expatriats' in Switzerland
This paper seeks to bring out the the exact circumstances of the Ugandan Indians journey, stay and experiences in Switzerland with the motive of analysing the community's ideas, imagination as well as voice in their personal as well as the political sphere.
It is a little known fact that there is a small community of Ugandan Indians who have settled down in Switzerland after their forced departure from Uganda in 1972. Based on primary field work amongst a few such families in Switzerland, this study is a worm's eye view of the processes of memory, heritage, losses as well as gains that define their new life. Although there have been works before that bring up the notion of `twice migrants' indicating the change of space as well as skills that are required to upgrade such a change, yet what I intend to open for debate here is that these were not just 'twice migrants' in terms of a political and spatial event. Rather they were the 're-expatriats' wherein they had to re-move, re-settle as well re-adapt as a community in a third new environment. The paper will be discussed in three parts : Forced Expatriation and Re-expatriation, Re-Settlement and Re-adaptation.
Disposable Workers: The Role of Neoliberal Policies in Labor Driven Migration from Mexico to the United States
This paper is about Mexican workers in the USA, in the context of neo-liberal policies.
This paper sheds light on the relative recent trends of guest worker programs between Mexico and the United States (US). It examines the guest worker program as a byproduct of US neoliberal policies. This manuscript advances our understanding on the effects of restrictionist immigration law and unskilled labor shortages on the institualization of guest worker programs. I first examine the extent to which racist immigration discourses permeate the policy making process to view guest workers as disposable people. Then, I show some of the strategies recruiters and employers utilize to keep this labor driven migration temporary and circular. This paper concludes by reflecting on the negative effects of this immigration policy on the Mexican immigrant community. A structural inequality approach is used to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the aim of this immigration policy. This model focuses on the relationship between the larger society and individuals. It provides exceptional insights into the analyses of social life on a structural scale and individual action levels as two mutually yet opposing systems. This study uses qualitative data gathered in Mid-Michigan, US. In addition to an extensive collection of fieldnotes, seven in-depth interviews from Mexican guest workers with H-2B visa (unskilled worker) were conducted.
Globalisation, diaspora and development: the Third World experience
The paper aims to explore the relationship between globalization and migration. It also makes an assessment about diaspora contribution to development in the regions of their origin.
Globalisation is an important phenomenon of international politics in the twenty-first century which brought about significant changes in international relations and broadened its area of study. In general sense, globalisation is a process which leads to free flow of technology, knowledge, ideas, capital, money, services, raw-materials, people and culture across the border. Globalisation is the driving force of development and the international diaspora communities play a significant role in the developmental process. International migration and recent flows of people in particular has given rise to the formation of so-called transnational communities around the world and the third world is no exception. These transnational communities maintain active links between "host" and "home" countries and are dynamic though under-recognised and under-valued players in the development of their regions of origin.
Within this backdrop, this paper attempts to analyse how globalisation is the main force of development in the third world countries and the engagement of the diaspora in the entire process. This paper is divided in to three parts. The first part of this paper explores the links between globalisation and migration. Second part specifically focuses on "diaspora and development" in a contemporary setting with an assessment of what is known about diaspora contribution to development in regions of their origin. And the third part traces the recent trends and developments emerging out of the globalisation process and its impact on over all development process and the diaspora community.
Regional Migration in Colombia: violence, poverty, mining, "progress" and state policies
This paper is the result of the investigation "Migrants going and returning" carried out in the department of Antioquia, Colombia. We found that the output tensions for people from non-urban areas would be within a matrix of interwoven elements.
The research sought to find the motivations of people in non-urban areas for leaving their home areas and migrate to the cities. The main objective was to understand 1) the dynamics of arrival, stay and eventual returning of migrants to their home areas and 2) how individuals and families kept the relationship "hometown region - receiving city" throughout the time that migrants remained outside from their original places.
The results show that the majority of individuals and families leave their home areas to go to cities because of multiple motivations and not just because of a determining cause. Some of the most important are: i) Acts of violence made by armed groups who seek to force out families and take possession their land. ii) Poverty and misery that forces people to migrate looking for subsistence work. iii) Mining which comes replacing the drug as an important and quick source of income. iv) The idea of "progress", "development", which is internalized in young people -who has barely old enough- and takes them to "open way", to "do life" in cities which are associated with "success". And v) state policies seeking certain "benefits" to communities with specific problems or for some "victims", these policies in many cases end up generating tensions to villagers in general, who migrate, seeking the benefits of the policy, to cities where the offices to process and charge the applications are located.
'Ethnic' Cafes as a Part of Migrants' Infrastructure and a New Site of Moscow Urban Space
The growth of the migration flows to Russia and stabilization of migrants' transnational networks leads to the development of migrants' infrastructure, including 'ethnic' cafes. This paper addresses the issue of 'ethnic' cafes as spaces of belonging and new sites in the Moscow urban space.
For the last two decades Russia has become one of the important centers for international migration. The prossesses of incorporation of these large-scale flows of migrants into the Russian society lead to the changes on various levels, creating territories of distinction in the megalopolises of the receiving state. Until recently research projects in the field of migration in the CIS space have been devoted more to the questions of work rather than to the questions of entertainment. The neglect of the sphere of migrants' entertainment might be caused, among other factors, by the minor character of this sphere until recently. However, by now the preliminary list of 'Kyrgyz' cafes in Moscow contains 40 places; not to mention cafes oriented towards other 'ethnic groups'.
In this paper, we will try to contribute to this neglected topic and look at the questions of whether these cafes can serve as a basis for 'communities' in Russian cities on example of Moscow. What role do cafes play in everyday life and communication of migrants? What social practices arise around cafes? In what way do cafes take part in the formation of migrant' infrastructure? What is of interest here is whether cafes can be agents of incorporation, assisting in the adaptation to the social space of megalopolis; next, whether this incorporation means enforcement of ethnic boundaries, in which gender comes into play.
The presentation is based on the fieldwork being conducted from May 2012 onwards, during which different cafes which are popular among migrants from Central Asia, are visited.
Socio-spatial logic of migrant communities functioning in Moscow
The presentation is based on collective sociological project that aims to detect migrant communities in Moscow, describe them and explore their social and spatial logic.
Moscow accommodates intensive flows of migrants both from other parts of Russia and from former Soviet Union states. By means of different sorting mechanisms Moscow places migrants on different levels of local social stratification structure and suggests different social circles or communities for them. The research aims to detect migrant communities that emerge in Moscow, make a classification of such communities, describe each type in terms of community participants, activities and social functions and explore social and spatial logic of their emergence. Due to absence of ethnic districts in Moscow communities were approached through ethnic cafeterias. Up to 100 cafeterias were explored among which about 40 were "containing" communities. Four clusters of communities were defined. Muslim poly-ethnic communities were detected in cafeterias next to mosques, corporate communities emerge near work places, where migrants are majority, Azeri business communities are active in tens of Azeri restaurants and cafeterias that cover the whole city, and compatriotcommunities connect people from same regions in sending countries. An important finding that, however, cannot be classified as a community is a Kyrgyz society that started to emerge in Moscow 5-7 years ago and achieved high level of institutional completeness including closed Kyrgyz nightclubs where young Kyrgyz men and women become acquainted. The project results include maps that describe spatial distribution of ethnic cafeterias with communities, classification of communities and in-depth description of each cluster.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.