26/04/2016: Migration seminar “Migrants as Agents of Change: Social Remittances in an Enlarged European Union” by Izabela Grabowska

Labour Market Impacts of Forced Migration

by Dr. Isabel Ruiz (Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford) 

MGSoG/UNU-MERIT Migration Seminar in collaboration with Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE)

Abstract: Migration research into sending countries has typically been conducted by scholars interested in development. It is therefore normative, although coming to different conclusions: as discussed in de Haas (2010), the debate about whether migration is good for development ‘has swung back and forth like a pendulum’. My talk discusses the extent to which this development studies literature is also relevant to highly developed countries in CEE. Based on ground‐breaking research into Polish social remittances, it sheds new light on the nature and mechanisms of social remitting, as captured by studies which eschew a normative approach. The studies in the context of equal migration system such as the one within the EU show that social remittances are not easily observable and manifest. They are more hidden, latent, subtle and nuanced than those happening within unequal migration system. Next to money people also transfer social remittances which stand for ideas, practices, skills, codes of behaviours, norms, values and social capital. However, not all migrants acquire, transfer and implement social remittances the same way. On‐going acts of resistance, imitation and innovation are involved. Stimulated by migration, some migrants become agents of micro‐social change. The talk is based on a methodology of transnational multi‐sited qualitative longitudinal research.

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