Migration, Mobility and Transnational networks

Migration, Mobility and Transnational networks

Basak Bilecen (University of Bielefeld, Germany) & Markus Gamper (University of Cologne, Germany)

The practices of migrants and mobile persons have attracted considerable amount of recent attention. Some of the practices include financial transfers, and other valuable resources including not only tangible ones but also symbolic ones. In migration studies the term 'transnational' refers to those regularly sustained non-state actor ties across several geographies. In migration studies migrants' ties are usually conceptualized as revolving around family or 'ethnic' networks, although the term 'network' is usually used metaphorically. However, in addition to family ties, mobile populations may engage in and form other types of networks ranging from personal, professional to philantrophical ones. It is important to understand what is exchanged between whom in those networks in order to better capture the societies they are embedded in. Furthermore, in order to be engaged in a network, one does not need to be mobile. In other words, those 'stayers' are also influenced by mobility of their ties.

Therefore, we would like to discuss a variety of networks that mobile and non-mobile populations are engaged in.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • What are being exchanged in networks of migrants and mobile persons?
  • With whom do they usually form a network?
  • How are transnational networks structured?
  • How does the structure of networks enable or constraint mobile and non-mobile populations embedded within and across several nation-states?
  • What are suitable methods to capture and visualize the complexity of transnational networks?
  • What is the role of geography in those transnational networks?
  • How do certain categories (such as age, gender, ethnicity, education) influence the ways in which transnational networks are structured?


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