15 January: Colloquium “Immigrants, ethnic minorities and the diversification of urban cultures” with Marco Martiniello (CEDEM)

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Date(s) - 15/01/14
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Grote Gracht 80-82, Spiegelzaal (Soiron Building) Maastricht


“Immigrants, ethnic minorities and the diversification of urban cultures”

by Marco Martiniello

(Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies, Liege, Belgium)

Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development research program/ FASoS and MACIMIDE colloquium


The academic literature on immigrant integration and incorporation is huge both in Europe and in America. However, there two important problems in that literature: the weakness of transatlantic academic dialogue and the relative neglect of some topics and issues, for example the relationship between the arts and the integration of migrants and their offspring at the city level.

This presentation precisely examines the relevance of popular music in the theoretical debates about immigrant integration and diversity in migration and post-migration cities. It could so by relating to three domains, which taken together constitute the framework of the paper: local culture, social relations and local politics.

At the cultural level, the aim is to examine how migrants and ethnic minorities’ musical productions inspired by their experience of migration and/or discrimination change and enrich local cultures through processes such as “cultural métissage”, fusion and invention. At the social level, the paper explores how popular music can become a means of communication and dialogue between different groups to build some form of shared local citizenship. At the political level, the relations between popular music, collective identities and the forms of the social and political mobilisation in multicultural cities need more careful investigation (Martiniello and Lafleur, 2008; Mattern, 1998). First, we need to better understand how musical expressions play a role in the negotiation and the assertion of various conceptions of the local (ethnic, transethnic, etc.) identity. Second, how do musical expressions serve the protest against and denunciation of the local social and political order but also the expression of a support for the established local order and for its mystified values?

This paper addresses these issues in a local perspective by discussing case-studies in Liège. The choice to focus on neighbourhoods as units of analysis is justified by the fact that integration and incorporation take place primarily at the local level, below the national level, the regional level and even the city level.

Discussant: Lidewyde Berckmoes
(FASoS, Maastricht University) 

About the speaker

Marco MARTINIELLO (1960), BA in Sociology, University of Liège; PhD in Political Science, European University Institute Florence (Italy), is Research Direcor at the National Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS). He teaches Sociology and Politics at the University of Liège. He also teaches at the College of Europe (Natolin, Poland). He is the director of the Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) at the University of Liège. He was visiting scholar or visiting professor in different universities: Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Malmö (Sweden), Sciences Po Paris, University of Warwick (UK), University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), University of Kwazulu Natal (Durban, South Africa), European University Institute (Florence, Italy), etc.

He is also a member of the executive board of the European Research Network IMISCOE (International Migration and Social Cohesion in Europe) and President of the Research Committee n°31 Sociology of Migration (International Sociological Association). He is the author, editor or co-editor of numerous articles, book chapters, reports and books on migration, ethnicity, racism, multiculturalism and citizenship in the European Union and in Belgium with a transatlantic comparative perspective. They include Citizenship in European Cities (Ashgate, 2004), Migration between States and Markets (Ashgate 2004), The Transnational Political Participation of Immigrants. A Transatlantic Perspective (Routledge 2009), Selected Studies in International Migration and Immigrant Incorporation (co-edited with Jan Rath, Amsterdam University Press, 2010), La démocratie multiculturelle (Presses de Sc Po, 2011), An Introduction to International Migration Studies. European Perspectives (Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2012) (with Jan Rath), Penser l’Ethnicité (Liège, Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2013).