Migration
 
 

Seminarierna arrangeras av CEIFO och Migrationsklustret vid Socialantropologiska institutionen.

October

CANCELLED! Karen's seminar will take place on December 3. October 1, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dr Karen Haandrikman, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University
Migration and partner choice: Trends in mixed marriages and the status of Thai marriage migrants in Sweden


The partner market for Swedes has expanded considerably in the last few decades, due to EU expansion, globalisation processes and an increased diversity of the migrant population. In the first part of the presentation, I will address changes in the partner choice of Swedes focusing on those choosing foreign partners, for the period 1991-2008. As part of a comparative European project, I analysed Swedes marrying EU partners comparing them with those marrying non-EU partners, using full-population register data. I find that the binational marriage rate has increased over time, especially for native Swedish men and men who are second-generation Swedes. The increase is for the greater part attributable to an increase in the number of marriages to partners from outside the EU, while binational EU marriages have remained stable with no effects from EU accession. Patterns of binational marriages are highly gender-specific, with Finland being the most important supplier for foreign husbands, while Thai women are most popular amongst men. Against expectation, native Swedes in binational marriages are, by and large, older and less well-educated.

The second part of the presentation will zoom into Thai-Swedish couples. Migration from Thailand to Sweden is a rapidly growing phenomenon with a threefold increase over the last ten years, with the majority of migrants being female marriage migrants. In the media and popular culture, stereotyping of Thai-Swedish couples is commonplace; focusing on unequal power relations, sex tourism and other social problems which often position Thai women ‘as both materialist rural women and ignorant victims’ (Sunanta 2013, 193). The paper positions and explores the status of this unique group of migrants through a power and agency lens and by adopting a multi-methods approach. Using register data, we are able to give a detailed picture of the migration and socio-demographic features of Thais in Sweden, while in-depth interviews with Thai women provide nuanced understandings of Thai-Sweden migration. We find a complex narrative of migration, where Thai women are active agents in their migration process but still face many inequalities in Sweden. A diversified picture of these women is revealed, giving an inside view into their lives that goes beyond and break common stereotypes.

Karen Haandrikman is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University. In 2010 she defended her PhD thesis on the geographical dimensions of partner choice at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She currently works on projects related to population geography and migration, funded by SIMSAM (Swedish Initiative for research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences), using register data on Nordic demography, and SPADE, the Stockholm University Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe, on the relationship between social policy and family dynamics. Her interests lie in research with a demography-geography connection, such as the spatial dimensions of partner choice, internal and onward migration of international migrants, contextual effects and social policy, the role of gender in migration and policy use, using both quantitative and qualitative methods.


October 8, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dr Anna Lundberg, Senior Lecturer, Department of Global Political Studies, Malmö University
Undocumented children’s rights claims. A multidisciplinary project on agency and contradictions between different levels of regulations and practice that reveals undocumented children ‘s human rights.

During the seminar I will present our four-year research project highlighting undocumented migrant children’s claims to be right holders, focusing on everyday experiences and agency. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s observation that rights can be realised only in a political community and Jacque Rancière’s theory that politics of human rights must be rooted in the practices of rights-holders the project has a strong agency perspective that asks how children themselves claim and utilize rights. We also investigate contradictions between different levels of regulation regarding undocumented children’s human rights.
Activities and interviews will be conducted in the city of Manchester, Great Britain and Malmö, Sweden. We also investigate international and national regulations in the area as well as policy at city level regarding undocumented children’s rights.
The research will provide knowledge about the situation of undocumented migrant children from the point of human rights. This is of central importance especially with regard to the children since they as under-age and non-citizens lack the traditional opportunities for political action. The project will also provide theoretically important insights of the contested meaning of human rights at different levels. Furthermore, an aim is to create conditions for a more tempered public debate in Sweden around highly politicised subjects.


October 29, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dr Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, Associate professor, Department of Government, Uppsala University
En(gendering) Family Migration to the UK and Sweden: Integration, Cohesion or Exclusion?

Drawing on a collaborative project, this paper will examine and compare family migration policies in two countries which are viewed as exemplary models of multiculturalism. The specific aim will be to analyse the discourse on ‘gender’ within these policies which also are inextricably woven with discussions on integration and social cohesion. The increasing politicization of immigration in Europe, arguably, could have an impact on future patterns of inclusion and exclusion in the U.K and Sweden.

Suruchi Thapar-Björkert is Docent and University Lecturer at the Department of Government, University of Uppsala. She has previously held academic positions at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Warwick University and University of Bristol in the U.K. She is a historical sociologist and researches on Gendered Discourses of Colonialism and Nationalism, Gendered Violence in India and Europe, Gender, Social Capital and Social Exclusion and Feminist Qualitative Research Methodologies. She has published widely in Feminist Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, The Sociological Review, Women’s Studies International Forum, Journal of Gender Studies, Women’s History Review, International Journal of Social Research Methodology and Interventions.

 

November

November 5, 13.00-15.00, B600
Kerstin B Andersson, PhD, Uppsala University
The Kolkata Intellectuals, Transnationalism and Digital Diasporas

This seminar outlines a research proposal for a project on Kolkata intellectuals, mobility and Digital Diasporas. Examining the Kolkata intellectuals and migration, the proposal deals with the role and implication of ICTs and Web 2.0 in a transnational context and a highly globalised world. The area of migration, mobility, transnationalism and digital media is a growing research field. However, studies of those aspects among Diaspora groups from Kolkata and West Bengal are lacking. Further, studies of ”digital Diasporas” predominantly concern new media, Internet, mobiles, and webpages. There is very little research done on the use and implications of Web 2.0 and social network sites (SNS), Facebook, Orkut, Skype, among Diaspora groups.
The project intends to combine offline and online research methods. The study will be based in local groups in Kolkata and their counterparts in the diaspora. This will rend possibilities to grasp transnational flows, formations and elucidate the implications of new media and social media for the local community and its transnational embedding. Dimensions of online interaction and encounters will be investigated through participant observation and interviews in the online context, in for example SNS as Facebook.
I will start with giving the background and purpose of the project and proceed to a brief overview the research area; different approaches in studies of mobility, migration and new media. Further, I will illustrate the area through some examples on the use of new media from my own research area, the Kolkata intellectuals. The seminar will end with a discussion on fieldwork in a transnational context and digital media.

Kerstin B Andersson has a PhD in Social Anthropology from University of Gothenburg and is at present connected to Uppsala University. Her dissertation work dealt with elite groups and intellectuals in the South Asian context with a specific focus on Kolkata, West Bengal. She has a long-standing interest in media and media anthropology, including work on Indian art film, shorts, documentaries, new media and ICT, and she has been an active participant in EASA medianthro network since its inception in 2004. Present research interests cover the areas of elite studies in anthropology, globalisation, mobility, the use of new media and Web 2.0 among migrant groups, ICT4D and ICT4SD. 

 

November 12, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dr Hans Lucht, Senior researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies and Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Dangerous Crossings: Ghanaians Lost and Found on the Mediterranean 

Last month several hundred migrants drowned off Lampedusa, and yet the rickety boats are still coming from North Africa. Based on fieldwork in Southern Europe and in a Ghanaian fishing village, this presentation explores if the growing number of deaths and disappearances on the southern borders of the EU, though not being political acts per se, have certain political implications in the sense that they bring into question the legitimacy of current EU border governance, and the policy of 'preemption'. Drawing on a parallel to the 'war against terror' the paper asks whether the EU is taking a mimetic approach to migration control. That is to say, the clandestine migration brokers mirror the state in Africa but does the EU, in turn, mirror the unconventional ways of the 'enemy'? The presentation then focuses on the little known ramifications of these deaths on a local level in a small West African village and how people fight back to obtain a sense of existential control in the meeting with the deadly border regimes of North Africa and Europe.


November 19, 13.00-15.00, B600
Eva Evers Rosander, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University and associate senior researcher, Nordic Africa Institute

The Illusio of Marriage: Polygyny for Migrants in Senegal and Spain

Perre Bourdieu’s more than wellknown concepts habitus, conatus and illusio are fruitfully discussed in the Preface of Michael Jackson’s book Existential Anthropology (2005). Jackson does so in order to strengthen his own argument about the relevance of the mentioned three concepts for dealing with human situations like those involving “Second Nature and Second Life” in people’s  “struggle for being” (ibid:vii).
The migrant’s hope for a better life and her/his  ambition to transform the lifeworld through praxis, creating a sense of life being worth living, offers a condition of well-being  which Bourdieu captures in the term of conatus. (Jackson ibid:xxii). By habitus Jackson refers to, in accordance with Bourdieu, what happens with culture, when it comes to be experienced as a kind of ‘second nature’. Social order is seen as natural order, determined by our genetic and ancestral past. Moreover, Jackson says, it is this reification of the social order that lays the groundwork for structural violence, as when androcentric doxa is imposed on women, because it reflects an ‘ancestral’ or ‘natural’ order of things, in which all involved display the same tendency of human action, not only to conserve the past, but to initiate new possibilities.
Though the migrant may have an illusio founded on a hope for a better life in the country to which she or he has migrated, this illusion may prove to be based on unreasonable expectations and false hopes. “La misère du monde” Bourdieu defines as the condition of hopelessness that follows from this widening gap between expectations and chances – these failures of hope (in Ibid 2005: xxii-v).
It is within this conceptual framework – although much simplified - that I will situate my current discussion about polygyny among Senegalese female and male migrants inside and outside Senegal. Polygyny as a marriage form is increasing in number among Senegalese migrants, according to what the migrants themselves say, although it is taking partly new forms, for which I will make account in the seminar. Divorces are also augmenting in number, as it seems. I have no certain statistics about these issues, but will compare with available national statistics. The most important influencing factor for this development is of course the access to financial means – or the hope for such means. In a few drastic words I could say that if access to financial means in the diaspora for men means new possibilities to create polygynous marriages, for women the avoidance of polygynous marriages will be one of the most important positive consequences of earning good money (this is based on field data from Tenerife). For those who fail to reach any financial status, different ideas about a better future, nourished by illusio, which may include magical means still remain.

 

November 26, 13.00-15.00, B600
Alireza Behtoui, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University
The Performance of Early Age Migrants in Education and the Labour Market;  A comparison of Bosnia Herzegovinians, Chileans and Somalis in Sweden

This study examines how early age immigrants to Sweden from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile and Somalia perform in education and the labour market in comparison with the children of natives. As the results demonstrate, the socio-economic position of the parents, family structure and other demographic characteristics of individuals only partially explain the differences between the descendants of natives and young immigrants from these countries. A further analysis demonstrates that the socio-historical contexts into which these immigrant children arrive and settle, i.e. the processes of migration, are equally likely to have an impact on young immigrants’ performance.

 

December

December 3, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dr Karen Haandrikman, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University
Migration and partner choice: Trends in mixed marriages and the status of Thai marriage migrants in Sweden


The partner market for Swedes has expanded considerably in the last few decades, due to EU expansion, globalisation processes and an increased diversity of the migrant population. In the first part of the presentation, I will address changes in the partner choice of Swedes focusing on those choosing foreign partners, for the period 1991-2008. As part of a comparative European project, I analysed Swedes marrying EU partners comparing them with those marrying non-EU partners, using full-population register data. I find that the binational marriage rate has increased over time, especially for native Swedish men and men who are second-generation Swedes. The increase is for the greater part attributable to an increase in the number of marriages to partners from outside the EU, while binational EU marriages have remained stable with no effects from EU accession. Patterns of binational marriages are highly gender-specific, with Finland being the most important supplier for foreign husbands, while Thai women are most popular amongst men. Against expectation, native Swedes in binational marriages are, by and large, older and less well-educated.

The second part of the presentation will zoom into Thai-Swedish couples. Migration from Thailand to Sweden is a rapidly growing phenomenon with a threefold increase over the last ten years, with the majority of migrants being female marriage migrants. In the media and popular culture, stereotyping of Thai-Swedish couples is commonplace; focusing on unequal power relations, sex tourism and other social problems which often position Thai women ‘as both materialist rural women and ignorant victims’ (Sunanta 2013, 193). The paper positions and explores the status of this unique group of migrants through a power and agency lens and by adopting a multi-methods approach. Using register data, we are able to give a detailed picture of the migration and socio-demographic features of Thais in Sweden, while in-depth interviews with Thai women provide nuanced understandings of Thai-Sweden migration. We find a complex narrative of migration, where Thai women are active agents in their migration process but still face many inequalities in Sweden. A diversified picture of these women is revealed, giving an inside view into their lives that goes beyond and break common stereotypes.

Karen Haandrikman is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University. In 2010 she defended her PhD thesis on the geographical dimensions of partner choice at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She currently works on projects related to population geography and migration, funded by SIMSAM (Swedish Initiative for research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences), using register data on Nordic demography, and SPADE, the Stockholm University Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe, on the relationship between social policy and family dynamics. Her interests lie in research with a demography-geography connection, such as the spatial dimensions of partner choice, internal and onward migration of international migrants, contextual effects and social policy, the role of gender in migration and policy use, using both quantitative and qualitative methods.
 

December, 5-6
Workshop on ethnographies of border controls


International workshop organised by Shahram Khosravi and Ruben Andersson, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.


A growing body of interdisciplinary work on the bordering of Europe has emerged in recent years in relation to one of the main catalysts for the accelerating fortification of the frontiers: the irregular migrant. Ethnographically informed work has much to contribute to these interdisciplinary debates – not least in questioning their parameters.
 

Pioneering studies are doing precisely that, focusing on issues such as the socio-legal production of illegality (de Genova 2002), the transnational formation of migration policy (Feldman 2012), the politics of refugee encampment (Agier 2011), the ‘biopolitics of otherness’ (Fassin 2001) and the embodied experiences of border controls (Coutin 2005; Khosravi 2010; Willen 2007). This workshop seeks to consolidate the existing ethnographic findings on the European border regime while mapping out future terrains of exploration, with a view towards a broader comparative perspective on contemporary bordering processes. Taking the cue from the finegrained material approach to the power dynamics at the border proposed by William Walters (‘viapolitics’: Walters 2012) and Didier Bigo (2010), the workshop seeks to explore concrete aspects of the border regime, ranging from humanitarian mechanisms and the defence industry’s laboratories to the vehicles used in human smuggling and the surveillance and policing technologies that facilitate the scanning of these vehicles. The aim is to provide complex ethnographic roadmaps for what is still a little-explored field – that is, the concrete means (vehicles, roads, machinery, manpower) by which Europe’s border regime is constituted. It is hoped that this focus on the materialities of the border can contribute with new ethnographic frames on migration in which the views from the ‘top’ of policing and politics may be combined with the views from ‘below’ – that is, from the perspective of migrants traversing time-spaces of control, whether in Europe or in other regions with similar bordering dynamics.
 

The workshop will have a limited number of participants working on pioneering research in this field. The rationale for the small format is twofold: first, to develop common agendas and research tools while pooling existing findings, with the view to future collaboration and dissemination via the participants’ own research networks. Second, to produce a thematic issue of a leading peer-reviewed journal, including versions of papers presented at the workshop. The limited number of participants also allows for extensive discussion among peers during the workshop, with 40 minutes dedicated to each paper. Scholars working on non-European migration regimes will contribute with crucial comparative perspectives. Participants will be encouraged not just to present existing findings, but to suggest future research pathways and methodological innovations (with the latter a crucial factor in the study of European borders owing to limitations in access to data). The transdisciplinary nature of the workshop will allow for the sharing of research techniques, and will also allow for extensive participation by the large number of researchers in the Department of Anthropology who are working on migration issues.

 

CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS
December 10, 13.00-15.00, B600

Daniela de Bono, Global political studies, Malmö University
‘Less than human’: the detention of irregular immigrants in Malta

The treatment of irregular migrants in Malta is problematic from a human rights perspective, for it contravenes the principle of universalism that is intrinsic to human rights philosophy. Malta is unusual among states in that it imposes mandatory detention on such migrants, including asylum seekers. Based on a reading of foundational documents of the modern human rights movement, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the article argues that the principle of human dignity underlies the concept of human rights, but that the bypassing of this principle enables the Maltese government to continue its detention policies while claiming to uphold human rights. It is an approach contested by NGOs in this area, which point to the dehumanising effects of detention on migrants. It is not just the appalling conditions in which migrants are held that renders their lives miserable, but the dehumanisation produced by detention itself.

 

January 2014

January 14, 13.00-15.00, B600
Jesper Bjarnesen, PhD, Senior Researcher, Nordic Africa Institute and affiliated researcher, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University
Zouglou and Belonging in Sarfalao: Negotiating Social Displacement in a Diaspora at Home in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso


The past decade's armed conflict in Côte d'Ivoire has been based on a nationalist rhetoric of autochthony and belonging that stigmatises "Burkinabe strangers" as scapegoats for the country's protracted socio-economic hardships. However, the forced "return" to Burkina Faso of first and second generation immigrants was experienced as an ambiguous movement from one state of exclusion to another. Labelled as "diaspos" and "ivoiriens", their forced displacement from Côte d'Ivoire entailed a social displacement to the margins of social life in the city in Burkina Faso.
This paper reflects on how Ivorian zouglou music was consumed by a group of 'diaspos', intent on performing their otherness and quite successful in exploiting that difference in the competition with non-migrant youths over access to employment and privileges. More specifically, I demonstrate that zouglou music has become a trademark of the self-proclaimed 'diaspos' who deliberately mark themselves off from their Burkinabe neighbours through their clothing, their speech, and their taste in music. In this way, their past mobilities – their parents' labour migration to Côte d'Ivoire and their own forced displacement during the war – evoke a cosmopolitan youth identity that represents the hopes and dreams of many Burkinabe youths; to migrate to the regional metropolis of Abidjan and take part in global flows of urban youth culture, consumption, and privilege.

 

January 28, 13.00-15.00, B600
Professor Annika Rabo, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Conflicts and identities among the Assyrians in Sweden

Assyrians or Syriacs have settled in Sweden since the late 1960s. By founding many associations they have been mobilized into, and as a diaspora. The Swedish welfare state has in many ways supported the formation of the many and often competing organizations and it is possible to regard the Assyrians/Syriac in Sweden, not as one diaspora but at least as two. Diasporic activities have been channelled into associations devoted to political, cultural, religious and sport activities. But the successful gathering of Assyrians and Syriacs in the Swedish diaspora also poses dilemmas. There are vital, difficult and often painful debates among the Assyrians/Syriacs about how individuals and the group as a whole should relate to Sweden, to each other in the diaspora and to the homelands.
This presentation is based on a research project focusing on Assyrians in Sweden and their transnational commitments. The development of diaspora formation in Sweden including the development of competing organizations will be traced. The conflicts and splits are often lamented by ordinary people. But instead the often fierce conflicts over ethnic identity and over historiography may have contributed to the development of a diasporic consciousness. In the presentation the replenishment of Assyrians through political conflicts and wars in the countries of origin will also be discussed, as well as the many efforts to simultaneously live in the diaspora and be transnationally committed. 

NB The seminar will be held in Swedish.

 

February 2014

February 18, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dr Vanessa Barker, Associate professor, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University
Border Protests: The Role of Civil Society in Transforming Border Control

 

March 2014

March 6-7, Stockholm University, Geovetenskapens hus
Workshop: "Transnational migration and global work" organised together with Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University


Deadline: January 25

Theme of the workshop

In times of globalization, activities of work are also becoming more global in nature and in particular they involve transnational migration flows. Nation states and international organisations, such as the EU, are examples of emerging global migration regimes, trying to monitor global work. The increasing mobility of people, who wish to improve their life situations, is another indication of the significance of global work. Recruitment agencies are brokering migrant workers, students are entering international universities and transnational firms are acting within global value chains. Some migrant workers enter the high end of the economy and are sometimes referred to as highly-skilled or career migrants, whereas others enter the low end of the economy, often suffering from exploitation and low earnings. The extensive student migration from India to the ICT firms in the US, South-Asian women doing domestic work in Singapore and Thai berry pickers in Sweden are all examples of global work – gendered and characterized by class and ethnic hierarchies in an evermore globalized labour market.

This workshop emphasizes how various forms of global work are closely linked to transnational migration processes. Webs of networks tie countries together, constituting a transnational social space, facilitating migration flows. The everyday practices of individual migrants are affected by these networks – and the simultaneous events taking place in the sending and receiving countries – and at the same time contribute to their continuation. There are hence many examples of how transnational migration processes and global work practices are interlinked: in globalized economies institutions develop global networks within which workers are recruited. These institutions can be transnational firms, global brokers or a network of families and friends. In the receiving society, transnational networks are often used in the labour market and transnational migrant entrepreneurs can use their contacts in their homeland to establish their business in the new country.
 

The workshop is divided into two major strands

A.    Migrant practices and everyday life

In this part of the workshop focus is on the transnational activities of migrant workers and/or international students in the global labour markets. We are for example interested in the everyday life of the migrant in the homeland and/or in the receiving countries, the temporary or permanent migrant, who may or may not be embedded in an existing structure of social network (e.g. diaspora) and gender relations and effects on the household and how they relate to ‘global work’.

B.    Structural conditions: policies, organizations and brokers

The second strand of the workshop focuses on the structural level of transnational migration processes and its relation to global work, such as the political agendas or migration regimes of nation states, the activities of migrant organisations, the agendas of transnational firms or the mediating role of recruitment agencies.
 

We welcome scholars with an interest in transnational migration and global work to contribute to the workshop within these two strands. Please send your abstract no later than January 25 2014 and your paper no later than February 20 to: Charlotta Hedberg (charlotta.hedberg@humangeo.su.se). The abstract should not exceed 400 words and the paper should be between 4000 and 7000 words (including references).

Arranging committee:
Charlotta Hedberg, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University
Erik Olsson, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

 

March 11, 13.00-15.00, B600
Professor Katy Gardner, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics

 


 

 
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