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Call for Papers: Once on the Move, Always on the Move? Mobility After Migration

Posted: 2/6/2018 (Conference)

May 31 and June 1, 2018, Centre Marc Bloch Berlin

: Section ‘Migration and Ethnic Minorities’ of the German Sociological Association (DGS) and the Centre Marc Bloch Berlin

Migration and mobility are among the most fundamental changes of societies worldwide and they are a central ingredient of globalization. Migration research has long shown that migration is not a process with just two clearly defined starting and end points. In contrast, it has been described as a process or a career. Yet, research on subsequent mobility in individuals’ life courses following the initial migration is still a rather young topic. The conference focuses on mobility after international migration, its causes, patterns, and effects. We want to inquire about ‘mobility after migration’ for individuals belonging to various groups of migrants, and across generations. We are interested in the contexts that shape opportunities for mobility on the micro-, meso- and macrolevel, such as local, national or European policies. We encourage empirical papers (quantitative and qualitative approaches), but also theoretical contributions addressing the relation between mobility and migration.

We propose the following topics:

Transnational mobility: The migrant transnationalism literature was influential in demonstrating that migrants may live transnational lives in and between their home and destination countries and that being ‘on the move’ may be a longer life span or even become a life style. In contrast to the migrant transnationalism literature which mostly focuses on links between the country of residence and the country of origin, we are also interested in developing links between the country of residence and other (third) countries.
Return migration: The traditional migrant workers that came to Western Europe in the 1950s and 1960s have reached their retirement ages. What happened to their often voiced return intentions? How do return migrants shape their life between their country of origin and their former country of residence, often the home of the second and third generation?

Reverse/root migration: In recent years, various researchers have demonstrated practices such as reverse or roots migration, whereby the descendants of immigrants migrate (for a certain time) to their ancestral home country. What is their experience? In addition, the question of intergenerational transmission of mobility arises – are the descendants of immigrants more prone than other persons to engage in any kind of cross-border mobility?

Onward mobility and immobility: Another important aspect concerns the governance of mobility. Immigrants do not necessarily stay in their first country of destination, but, often depending on opportunities for social mobility, move on to other countries. Or they relocate within their country of destination, as do many refugees. By contrast, in recent years, a clear divide has been recognizable between migrants that are desirable and non-desirable at a given destination. For the latter, the possibilities for mobility have been curtailed – illustrated for example through the displacement of the EU borders to African countries. Being mobile is then much more difficult and dangerous and it may be accompanied by longer periods of forced immobility. Thus, how is (im)mobility governed for different groups of migrants and different spatial levels?

Mobility in the life course: Short-term cross-border mobility for different reasons such as studies, work, or leisure (holiday travel) has been increasing in recent decades. We are also interested in such different forms of mobility and in particular if such mobility in younger ages affects mobility in later stages of the life course, such as for retirement migration?

Migration without moving: New communication technologies, transnational working contexts, and changing work conditions facilitate social contacts without physical copresence. Virtual mobility is therefore just as important as physical mobility. Nowadays, people can engage in transnational practices without being physically mobile. What effects do these different forms of mobility have on life-course events as well as social mobility, social identities, and social relations?

Deadline for applications: March 19, 2018.

Please send an abstract (250 words) via email to the organizers:

Christine Barwick
Nadja Milewski
Centre Marc Bloch Berlin University of Rostock

Notification of admission by April 5, 2018.

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Deadline: 03/19/2018

Location: Berlin, Germany