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Working Group on Migration and Mobility

The working group brings together scholars from the study of migration, mobility, movement and borders. These research fields have expanded during the last decades also due to increasing globalization, transnationalism, mobility, forced migration, the vanishing of some borders, and the increase and forceful manifestation of others that characterize the world we live in. As ethnologists, our aim is to try and understand the complexity of these developments by looking at specific situations of migration and movements in detail through ethnographic fieldwork, participant observation, interactions and interviews with people involved or affected, the analysis of media, historical material, and objects. We explore how migration and mobility take place and especially what they mean to individual actors and local and translocal communities. Moreover, we are interested in the ways in which discourses, understandings and judgments of migration, mobility and borders are constructed. We focus on topics such as work migration, care migration, refuge and asylum, border studies, lifestyle migration, migration of the highly qualified, migration of young people and migration of the retired, as well as local and global interactions, and integration. We incorporate aspects such as religion, law, gender, identity, and belonging. However, it is not only the people who are moving in today's world, but movements of people are connected with movements of ideas, knowledge, finances and objects amongst others. One perspective on the topic may thus be focusing on a symbol, a photo or an object and the different ways in which it is used, remembered or discarded by a person in different migratory situations.

The research field of migration, mobility, movements and borders is developing very fast at the moment, also due to the current political situation. The mission of this working group is to discuss current research fields and theoretical and methodical approaches. Moreover, the group fosters exchange amongst scholars working in Europe, providing a forum to share information and connect through workshops, research projects or publications. The group plans to hold a workshop every other year and organize panels at the SIEF congresses. In addition, there is a mailing list and Facebook Page to share information and questions for those interested.

Christian Ritter, Karlstad University,
Ieva Puzo, Rīga Stradiņš University,

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