XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010


RC homepage


Research Committee on
Sociology of Migration RC31

Programme Coordinator
Marco Martiniello, Universite de Liege-CEDEM, Belgium, m.martiniello@ulg.ac.be

Congress Programme


Sessions descriptions

Part 1 - Migration patterns and policies

Session 1: International migration and the decision making system of the states
Organizer: Oluyemi Fayomi, Covenant University, Nigeria, olu_fayomi@yahoo.com
International migration has been considered as part of the policy agenda of the states. Migration constitutes an important national security issue. It has also increased the range of threats in the Post Cold War Era bringing in the questions of international crime and terrorism which are more commonplace in both in the developed and developing countries. The Session seeks papers that communicate real and perceived impacts of migration on the foreign policy formulations of states, and how it shapes the contemporary security agenda.

Session 2: Return migration to the homeland
Organizer: Mary M. Kritz, Cornell University, USA, MaryKritz@cornell.edu
The Session would include papers that focus on return migration after a prolonged stay in another country. Topics of interest would be the determinants of return migration and the characteristics of migrants who return versus those who stay; differential return rates by migrant types (labor migrants, refugees, skilled migrants, etc.) and/or duration of stay abroad; the impacts of return migration on home countries; linkages between retirement and return migration; and the effects of return migration policies. Papers are also welcome that focus on other aspects of return migration.

Session 3: Temporary foreign workers, guestworkers
Organizer: Lloyd Wong, University of Calgary, Canada, llwong@ucalgary.ca
The papers for this session could be on specific case studies or be could be more theoretical in nature in terms of migration and labour processes. For example, here in Canada the temporary foreign worker component of migration has increased tremendously over the past 5 years.countries who receive guestworkers. There are also various sub-themes that could be incorporated in this session as well. For example, the area of sport migration is now also receiving a lot of attention where athletes temporarily migrate to earn a living in other countries.

Part 2 - Migration and development

Session 4: Migration and development in comparative perspective
Organizer: Matthew R. Sanderson, Lehigh University, USA, matthew.sanderson@Lehigh.EDU
International migration continues to garner increasing attention from scholars and practitioners interested in questions of whether, and how, it might affect the prospects for development.  Yet much previous research tends to be limited to a particular country or time period, limiting the generalizability of empirical findings and inhibiting the construction of more robust theoretical frameworks.  This session will examine the ways cross-national, comparative research can address unresolved and persistent questions about the relationship between migration and development.  Submissions are invited that use comparative methods to explore this relationship across countries, treating migration as either a cause of development outcomes or an outcome of development processes.  The session will attempt to reevaluate existing theoretical frameworks and construct a broader theoretical and empirical perspective of the migration-development relationship than can be provided through either single-country case studies or sub-national analyses of single countries.

Part 3 - Transnationalism

Session 5: Diversity of transnational families
Joint Session of RC06 Family Research and RC31 Sociology of Migration [host committee]

Session 6: Transnational migration and identity: Intersecting cultural, social and economic dimensions
Organizer: Caroline Plüss, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, Pluss@ntu.edu.sg
This session addresses the question of how the identities of transnational migrants, and transformations in these identities, intersect and combine cultural, social and economic dimensions that have roots in different geographical regions. Although the scholarship discussing the cosmopolitan, hybrid, or hyphenated identities of transnational migrants is well established, not so much work has yet been devoted to develop understanding of how cultural, social and economic dimensions interact when migrant identities become embedded in transnational arenas, that is, when these identities become partly deterritorialized. The themes addressed in the session can include discussion of one, or several, of the following questions about transnational migrant (including repeat, circular, and return migrant), or sojourner, identity:

    1. How do transnational migrant identities express intersections between cultural, social and economic dimensions that have their roots in different places?           
    2. How can the identities of transnational migrants be linked to their attempts to access cultural, social and economic resources?
    3. How do transnational migrant identities express the difficulties the migrants experience when seeking to access cultural, social and economic resources?
    4. How are the difficulties with adjustment and integration that transnational migrants experience linked to discourses stressing that the migrants transnational characteristics are different?
    5. How do the migrants’ transnational biographies account for their combining of cultural, social and economic dimensions with roots in different geographical regions?

Part 4 - Incorporation

Session 7: Group boundaries and immigrant integration
Organizer: Eric Fong, University of Toronto, Canada, fong@chass.utoronto.ca
The metaphor of boundary change has been applied to understand the process of immigrant integration.  As suggested by Alba and Nee, the boundary change for immigrant integration can be resulted from the shift in group boundaries, blurring of boundaries, or crossing the boundaries.  The session will explore how these mechanisms of boundary changes affect the
integration of immigrants.

Session 8: Modes of incorporation of the protracted refugees
Sari Hanafi, Arab Sociological Association
Over two-thirds of the world’s refugees are trapped in protracted refugee situations, struggling to survive in remote and insecure parts of the world. Eritreans in Sudan for nearly four decades, and Palestinians for up to five decades are but a few examples showing how achieving durable solutions is slow and uncertain. Protected refugee situations are caused by the combined effect of inaction or unsustained international action both in country of origin and the country of asylum.
Protracted refugees are often without socio-economic or civil rights: rights to work, practice professions, run businesses, and own property. They are confined to camps or segregated settlements where they are virtually dependent on humanitarian assistance. Among 8,525,500 warehoused refugee population (as of Dec. 31, 2007 according to the World Refugees Survey) the three quarters live in refugee camps, that have seen as “security islands” and treated as a space of exception and an experimental laboratory for control and surveillance. Sovereign of the host country as well as the humanitarian organizations have dealt with the protracted refugees as purely objective matter to be administered, rather than potential subjects of historical or social action. This does not mean that subject cannot emerge and resist this sovereignty, but that sovereignty attempts to reduce the subjective trajectories of individuals to bodies. 
This session welcomes the papers dealing with

    1. Protracted refugees and integration in the host society
    2. Relationship between urban/local identity and national identity of protracted refugees
    3. Relationship between refugee camps and nationalism
    4. Role of the humanitarian organizations which deal with the protracted refugees

Session 9: Survival strategies of irregular migrants: Survey and ethnographic evidence
Organizers: Giuseppe Sciortino and Martina Cvajner, University of Trento, Italy, giuseppe.sciortino@unitn.it
It is a well known fact that hundreds of thousands of migrants are able to live, sometimes for years, in an irregular status in receiving countries. How do they  manage to get access to essential life-chances - from work to lodging, from health to mating - avoiding at the same time detection? Which kind of strategy may substitute for the availability of a publicly-certified identity? How it is possible for them to deal with malfeasance and guile without having access to the legal and political system? Which kind of narratives do the irregular migrants develops to account for their conditions? This questions are strategic research materials for understanding both irregular migration systems and the very same social fabric of receiving societies. They have not, however, been systematically addressed in the literature on irregular migration. The session will accept papers based on empirical evidence, both of quantitative and ethnographic kind.

Session 10: The differential incoporation modes of second generation immigrants
Organizer: Christine Inglis, University of Sydney, Australia, c.inglis@usyd.edu.au
This panel will draw on recent international studies such as the TIES (The Integration of the European Second Generation) project which involves 11 European countries, and similar studies in the USA and Australia, to explore the diverse range of incorporation experiences and strategies involving the children of immigrants. Initial comparative work has already indicated the diverse modes of incorporation evident among this group and the need to develop new conceptual approaches too understand and explain this diversity.

Session 11: Migrant associations: Incorporation to civil society
Organizer: Chryssanthi Zachou, American College of Greece, Greece, czachou@gmail.com
This session intends to address the critical role undertaken  by migrant associations in assisting non-citizens to become incorporated into the civil sphere of their  host society. Submitted  papers  could address issues such as the relation of  migrant associations   to :  a. the nation -state b. legal and substantive citizenship c. civil,  social and political rights  d. transnationalism e. locality and community f. networks  and globalization  g. levels and means of political socialization h.  the ethnic factor i. variation of associational activities  j. associations in a pluralistic world, etc

The aim of this session is to capture in theoretical/ and empirical terms the associations’  increasing significance as mediating structures promoting multiple objectives for their  members in the current dialectic between cultural identity and civic engagement. Its  sociological goal is to trace the ways migrants  utilize associational involvement to overcome otherness, improve their opportunities for integration,  recognize cultural pluralism, promote welfare. Without conceptual or methodological restrictions, this session will focus on the impact of associational activity on migrant reality and the receiving  or  sending  society at large.

Session 12: Migrant’s trust in institutions
Organizers: Johan Ackaert, Maarten Van Craen and Kris Vancluysen, University of Hasselt, Belgium, maarten.vancraen@uhasselt.be
We welcome papers that explore whether migrants have more or less trust in institutions than natives and that try to explain ethnic-cultural differences in levels of trust. Moreover we are interested in papers that focus on differences within immigrant groups. Do participation and integration stimulate immigrant’s trust in institutions, as for example the empowerment model suggests, or do they affect immigrant’s trust in institutions, as for example the ethnic competition theory suggests. We look forward to receive papers on theoretical perspectives as well as papers that present research findings. The focus is a broad one, not only including political institutions, but also the criminal justice system, integration services, civil service, the media, … . The aim is to select papers for an international book.

Session 13: Migration and citizenship
Organizers: Peter Kivisto, Augustana College, USA, PeterKivisto@augustana.edu and Thomas Faist, University of Bielefled, Germany
Citizenship is increasingly viewed as a primary way that immigrants acquire voice in their nations of settlement.  At the same time, given the proliferation of transnational ties and the increasing interest in sending nations to maintain allegiances among their émigré populations, many immigrants today resist efforts to renounce their earlier citizenship ties.  Thus, dual citizenship has expanded dramatically and the Hague Convention consensus has been called into question.  Despite the recent scholarly attention paid to dual citizenship, in fact this remains to large extent uncharted territory.  This session will be devoted to assessing what we do know at present and to considering how the future research agenda ought to be structured.

Part 5 - Migration and culture

Session 14: The"ground-level"  impact of immigrants and their offspring on culture (symbolic and material) and social relations of host and/or home societies
Organizer: Ewa Morawska, University of Essex, UK, emorawsk@essex.ac.uk
The settlement of diverse people-immigrants from around the world in towns and cities of once-homogenous societies-"localizes" the global or brings multicultural ways of life into the everyday existence of particular localities. This simultaneous process of homogenization and diversification characteristic of the contemporary world whereby international migration plays a crucial role has been called by sociologists glocalization (Robertson 1992; Waters 2001; Berger and Huntington 2002) Recognition of cross-border population flows as the integral component of glocalization of the contemporary world has elevated international migration to a central place in sociological analysis. This session will examine international migration as an outcome and at the same time an important contributor to globalization and, simultaneously, as a diversifying sociocultural force in local communities. Papers are invited that  address the issue of  different dimensions (economic, political, socio-cultural) of the glocalization effects of immigrants' activities in  either  their host (through the process of integration) or home (through transnational engagements) societies.

Part 6 - New development in migration studies

Session 15: Moving the migration frontier:  Recent research based on the U.S. New Immigrant Survey
Organizer: Guillermina Jasso, New York University, USA, gj1@nyu.edu
The U.S. New Immigrant Survey (NIS) is the first longitudinal study of a probability sample of new legal immigrants in the United States, with data collected on the cohorts of 1996 and 2003 and other cohorts envisioned for the future.  Data from the first round of NIS-2003 make it possible not only to address classic questions in migration research with unprecedented specificity and rigor -- in such domains as selection and adaptation, emigration, language and religion, process for obtaining visas, and health and economic outcomes -- but also to pose new questions -- ranging from "little" questions (such as examination of "little measures of assimilation" via the use of the host country's measuring systems for weight, length, temperature, monetary currency) to "larger" questions (such as the long-term impact of the quality of encounters with host-country officials during the visa process and the impact on assimilation of sponsorship by citizens of the host country, such as a host-country employer or spouse).  This session will highlight some of the new work currently underway using NIS data to illuminate topics of special interst to RC31,  such as religion, globalisation, modes of incorporation, and migration by the elderly.

Session 16: New theories of ethnicity in migration and post-migration situations
Joint Session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations and RC31 Sociology of Migration [host committee]

Session 17: Migration, leisure and community cohesion
Joint session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations, RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee], and RC31 Sociology of Migration

Session 18. Business meeting