Conference Agenda

RN35_07a: Re-thinking Migration: Conceptual Challenges and Innovative Perspectives II
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Sören Carlson, Europa-Universität Flensburg
Location: BS.G.26
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road


Senses of Time and Processes of Citizenisation in Institutional Encounters Between Social Service Workers and Migrant Service-Users in the Immigrant Services of Helsinki Metropolitan Area

Hanna Kara

University of Helsinki, Finland

Migration brings to the fore social time and dominant ideas of time in society, and being outside of and in negotiation with these times (Frederiksen & Dalsgård, 2014; Kara, 2016), yet time has only recently seen a significant rise in interest in migration research (e.g. Griffiths et al., 2013; Mavroudi et al., 2017). Time is also centrally about control and power (Bailey et al., 2002), as states control time and through time (Griffiths, 2017), through for example institutional schedules and routines, censuses and classifications, and bureaucratic procedures and requisites. In this presentation I will explore the ways time and temporal experiences reflect the positions of social service workers and migrant service-users in the institutional encounters taking place in the integration services in the capital region of Helsinki, Finland. I will analyse different time aspects in the experiences of service-users and professionals in reference to the work done at the integration services as well as to the experiences of the welfare bureaucracy more generally, and discuss them inside the conceptual rubric of citizenisation (Nordberg & Wrede, 2015). More specifically, I will look at the temporal experiences of time shortage, waiting, time suspension (e.g. Cwerner, 2001; Griffiths, 2014) and different temporal paradoxes, and consider the inherent dynamics of losing, gaining, resisting and negotiating power. The analysis presented is based on a four-year research project (2017-2021) which draws on collective and collaborative ethnographic approaches to examine how migrant citizenisation is linked to power asymmetries in the Nordic restructuring welfare bureaucracies.

Xenophobia as a Social Order Catch-22

Ana Maria Lopez-Narbona1, Christian Davenport2

1University of Malaga, Spain; 2University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, US

Xenophobia is conceptualized, in this work, as a Catch-22 where immigrants remain imprisoned. The process is triggered by nationals´ reaction against those who “challenge” a mythological order. Corinthians 14:40 “ But all things should be done decently and in order”. Social order is based on asymmetric power relations where nationals impose social order or, alternatively, (if immigrants do not obey) social control (in the form of prison, social exclusion, discrimination, death penalty, unemployment…). Immigrants may challenge (unintentionally and inadvertently) the social order in, at least, the following instances, (i) labour market order, immigrants are lazy and/or distortion the labour market, (ii) cultural and value system order, the purest culture and values are those of the nationals, (iii) religious order, immigrants are not real or pure Christians, or, worst, they are muslims, (iv) patriarchal order, immigrants have the aspiration of being treated like free adults, with authority and power, (v) capitalistic order, poor immigrants cannot consume enough, (vi) legal order, immigrants are in essence violent and more prone to crime than nationals, and, (vii) racial order, endogamy must be respected by immigrants. This work reflects critically on the "social order/social control dynamic" in which topics (i) to (vii) conform part of the inescapable vicious circle. For example, regarding the labour market order, if immigrants are working, they are stealing jobs from nationals; if unemployed, they are lazy and enjoying public benefits without contributing to society; if unemployed, but not enjoying public benefits, they are making society unsafe and poor, for all of which they are to blame. Immigrants are irremediably condemned to the margins of society.

How border deaths challenge belonging: A case study from Southern Italy

Daniela Stauffacher1,2

1University of Zurich Switzerland; 2EHESS, Paris

The dead are usually a challenge for any social order. People dying at the borders of Europe are no exception to the rule as they rise a number of political, legal, logistical and ethical incertenties. For the management of the dead whose identity in most cases remains unknown, the question of belonging is of particular interest since habitual concepts such as nationality or religious affiliation do not suffice as guidelines for the procedure with them.

A case study in Southern Italy shows how practices of belonging are being implemented both on a local and national level: As certain actors claim that the dead belong to the sea, others devote all the necessary means to recover them from the grounds. When it comes to the accommodation of the dead on land, belonging is translated into a variety of spatial regimes on cemeteries i.e. special sectors, grave fields, ornaments etc.

The study of the border deaths shows on an empirical level how group-boundaries are at times annihilated, re-distributed or reinforced. These empirical insights lead to reconsiderations on a theoretical level since belonging is not easily stipulated with concepts such as nationality or religious affiliation and needs to be rediscussed in order to better understand the phenomena.