Migration
 
 

Seminarierna arrangeras av CEIFO och Migrationsklustret vid Socialantropologiska institutionen.

January

January 14, 13.00-15.00, B600 NB CANCELLED!
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

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

The seminar is based on Vanessa Barker’s chapter ‘Border Protests: The Role of Civil Society in Transforming Border Control’, in Leanne Weber, ed., Rethinking Border Control for a Globalizing World (in production).

This chapter examines the role of civil society in reducing harm at the border. It is part of a thought experiment about a Preferred Future where death, detention and deportation become anomalies and border control is de-militarized. The preferred future methodology tries to show how we can realize these goals from the contemporary situation (it is pragmatic reality rather than fantasy). It argues that current border protests pose a serious challenge to state monopolies over population and membership and as such represent a critical component to any attempt at harm reduction. Border protests are actively withdrawing consent, forming new global solidarities and questioning the legitimacy of democratic societies as core principles of fairness and equality are blocked from nonmembers. The empirical material focuses on public health workers who provide aid to those outside the state system in Sweden. Based on these observations, I then propose three additional (and possibly necessary) conditions for harm reduction: a global Border March, a mass act of civil disobedience; demands for universal legal personhood; and the creation of new institutions, including a Mobile Human Rights Court and a Participatory Border Governance, responsive and accountable to a globalizing civil society, particularly those most affected by contemporary border control: paperless migrants.

For more information. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415708333/

Paper available upon request.

 

March

March 6-7, Stockholm University, Geovetenskapens hus
Workshop: "Transnational migration and global work"

Organised together with the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University

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.

Organisers:

  • Charlotta Hedberg, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University
  • Erik Olsson, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Please note: Keynote speeches are open for everybody who is interested. Participation in the workshop is restricted to registered participants.

Program

March 6
9:15 – 10:00 Coffee, registration for workshop participants
10:00 – 11:00 Keynote session:
Indonesian Domestic Workers and the (Un)Making of Transnational Livelihoods and Provisional Futures
Professor Brenda S.A. Yeoh
National University of Singapore
Venue: Willam Olsson, Geovetenskapens hus
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:15 Organizing Global Work: Migration Infrastructure and the Logistics of Transnational Labor in Asia and the Middle East
Associate Professor Johan Lindquist
Stockholm University
Venue: Willam Olsson, Geovetenskapens hus
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch: Fakultetsklubben
13:45 – 15:30 Workshop: Parallel sessions WG A (William Olsson, Geovetenskapens hus) and
WG B (Y10, Geovetenskapens hus)
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee
16:00 – 18:00 Workshop: Parallel sessions WG A (William Olsson, Geovetenskapens hus) and
WG B (Y10, Geovetenskapens hus)
19:30 Dinner
March 7
9:00 – 10:00 Workshop: WG C (Y10, Geovetenskapens hus)
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee
10:30 – 12:00 Workshop: WG C (Y10, Geovetenskapens hus)
12:00 – 12:30 Concluding discussion (incl. publication
and continuing activities)
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch: Fakultetsklubben

For more information, list of participants, abstracts.

 

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

‘Our own Poor’ : Transnational Charity, Development Gifts and the Politics of Suffering in Sylhet and the U.K.

The metaphors of connection and its antonym, disconnection are a useful framing of discussions of migration. Indeed, a huge amount of work has been devoted to describing migration as enabled via connections in chains or networks, whilst the framing of transnationalism points directly to on-going relationships and connections between so-called ‘receiving’ and ‘sending’ countries. Yet if connections are made, these are inevitably accompanied by disconnection, in the form of ruptured relationships, loss and the yearning for an imagined ‘home’ that has been so well described in the literature on diaspora. In this paper I push the metaphor a little further,  using it to think not only about migration, but the broader processes and conditions that structure everyday struggles and opportunities in places such as Bangladesh.  What I hope to show is how whilst migration is enabled by informal, social connections, it can lead to formal connectedness, in which these informal, socially based links become less important, via citizenship and access to employment in the formal sector. From this, we can use the metaphor of connection to think more broadly about ‘development’ in its various guises. The paper is based on stories drawn from a place I’m calling Duniyapur in Sylhet, NE Bangladesh, plus a brief sortie to Burnley, north east England. The setting is notable not only for its long history of transnational migration, but also because since 2007 the oil company Chevron has been operating a large gas plant there. It’s also the place where I’ve been doing fieldwork, and visiting, since 1987.

 

March 25, 13.00-15.00, B600
Öncel Naldemirci, PhD, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg

Caring (in) Diaspora: Aging and caring experiences of older Turkish migrants in a Swedish context

Caring (in) Diaspora investigates Turkish migrants’ aging experiences and their understandings about care by concentrating on the accounts of a group of first-generation Turkish immigrants who settled in Sweden in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The aim is to explore how older immigrants’ lives have been marked by the experience of migration and re-establishment in another country, how the impact of having once lost caring relations affected their decisions and desires about care in old age. This study examines some common patterns about aging in a host country, ideals of care in old age, encounters with medical institutions, interpretations of formal care facilities, and identity and community construction processes. Rather than generalizing and categorizing cultural, ethnic, or even religious expectations in the case of elderly care, it seeks to grasp the complexity of the migrants’ ideals of care and caring relations by focusing on the positions they take in diaspora space. This study is based on ethnographic research which extended over two years (2011–2013). In this seminar, after giving an overview of the research, I will put emphasis on debates around Turkish migrants’ arrangements at older ages, particularly after retirement, and discuss how healthcare services constitute an important topic in their decision-making.

Öncel Naldemirci received his BA and MA degrees in sociology from Bogazici University, Istanbul and his PhD from the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg.

 

April

April 8, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dr Mark Johnson, Reader in Social Anthropology, Department of Social Sciences, University of Hull

Migration, Surveillance and Embodied Infrastructures of Care

In this paper I want to think about and extend analytically the idea of migration infrastructure by bringing it into conversation with recent writing about surveillance drawing on ethnographic work on Filipino migration to Saudi Arabia. While surveillance features routinely in discussions of migration in terms of boundary crossing and border policing, surveillance studies invites us to attend to the wider systems and processes of surveillance that in a myriad of different contexts produce a range of normative and abject subject positions and that enable and foreclose movement across and participation within public spaces and cultures for different sorts of people, migrants included. Drawing on the concept of ‘people as infrastructure’ I examine in particular the way that forms of lateral surveillance features in migrant practices of care, an overlooked but vital part of the way that migrants create ‘platforms for living’, as well as enact social control and normative conformity, in sometimes precarious situations.

 

April 29, 13.00-15.00, B658
Rickard Jonsson, Associate professor, Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University

Narrativer om skolans stökiga pojkar: Om normerande svenskhet och  förortskillen i positionen som den stökige Andre

Boy’s underachievement and oppositional behavior in school has for a long time been the target of various public debates. As noted by several gender scholars (c.f. Epstein et al 1998; Francis, 2006; Griffin, 2000), the relation drawn between gender and school achievement is often portrayed as constituting a crisis in education. Moreover, the category of “disruptive boys” is often taken for granted in dominant public discourses on the subject: the category is used to explain rule breaking activities and disciplinary problems in classrooms. Yet, I argue that it is precisely this category that needs to be deconstructed. In light of the above, the research project  “Rowdy boys?” investigates how the influential theory of boys’ anti-school culture, can be interpreted as a master narrative that is being reproduced but also contradicted and subverted in small stories (Bamberg 2006; Georgakopoulou 2007), constructed by students and teachers, in interviews as well as mundane talk in local school contexts.

More specifically, drawing on ethnographic data from two fieldworks in Swedish upper secondary schools, the following paper explores have the category of the disruptive boy is constituted as non Swedish, and closely associated with so called multicultural schools. Moreover, I take in interest in how these categorizations are handled rhetorically in interviews and class room talk, without being perceived as racist or disparaging. And I discuss how those linguistic resources, that may be called political correct or morally good, nonetheless can be used in the construction of a normative Swedishness - and the immigrant young man as yet another synonym for the “disruptive boy” in school.

NB The seminar will be held in Swedish.

 

May

May 6, 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.

 

May 20, 13.00-15.00, B600
Professor Helena Wulff, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Accented Writings: Diaspora Fiction and Journalism in Sweden

In his book An Accented Cinema (2001), Iranian media scholar Hamid Naficy engages with the expanding film genre that focusses on experiences of expatriation in the West by Third World filmmakers. These films are “accented” as they combine voices from the cinematic traditions with voices from exilic and diasporic traditions. In the process, accented films open up new perspectives to a mainstream audience. This idea will be applied to a planned study of emerging diaspora writings by a generation of young exiles in Sweden. Their accented writings consist of both fiction and journalism. By uncovering often cruel experiences of exclusion in a country which boasts an inclusive policy, these writings have a Swedish as well as an international readership. Diaspora writers have an impact on political and cultural debate in Sweden, also because they take on the role as public intellectuals. A palpable case of this was Jonas Hassen Khemiri´s (2013a) open letter “Bästa Beatrice Ask” in Dagens Nyheter in March 2013, which was one of the most shared Swedish texts on the internet. It was translated into many languages and printed in The New York Times as “Sweden´s Closet Racists” (2013b). The overall aim of this study is to explore the social life of accented writings in Sweden in relation to issues such as translation, diversity and difference. 

 

 

 
Marie Curie
 
 

 

 
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