Migration Without Mobility


The Mobility Turn promised a paradigm shift. Inspired by the work of Deleuze and Guattari, fundamental concepts such as culture, identity and place were to be re-figured by mobile metaphors, such as network, home and flow. However, conceptual ambitions have been stymied. Ironically, this has been especially evident in fields concerned intrinsically with mobility. Notably, Migration Studies remains concerned with the meanings, impacts and causes of migration in both 'receiving' and - ending' societies, but often at the cost of failing to understand what takes place between them - mobility! Developing empirically here the basic argument that I have articulate elsewhere (see, for example, Dawson 2015), I explore it through the case study of a, so-called innovative development in the study of migration, the transnationalism perspective. The acceleration of mobility has produced new and complex forms of cross-border identification and connection. However, the study of transnationalism has focused largely on familiar units of analysis that are wedded to place, especially national and ethnic communities. As such, disciplines such as anthropology, from where the transnationalism perspective emerged, have overcome their mourning for the loss of authentic otherness that global mobility can entail, but in a regressive fashion. Mobility has been rendered, not as a challenge to representations of authentic and intrinsically place-based otherness, but a means through which it can be reproduced on a global scale by processes of migration. Putting it another way, the Mobility Turn's aim of, for example, representing _�_w has been stymied by the persistence of borders.

Author Information
Andrew Dawson, University of Melbourne, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2016
Stream: Sociology

This paper is part of the ACCS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon