Inside, outside, upside down, backward, forward, round and round: A case for ethnographic studies in migration

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149 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article calls attention to the potential of ethnographic studies in furthering our understanding of migration and circulation systems. The dominant conceptualization of migration and migrant adjustment as a one-way journey is inadequate, as many individuals and groups forge connections and social fields across expanses of space and time. There has been insufficient attention directed toward understanding migrations as cultural events rich in meaning for individuals, families, social groups, communities and nations. Three recent ethnographic studies of disparate migrant groups in North America are presented as exemplars. A careful reading and interpretation of each brings to light key ideas in migration and culture, culminating in four overarching themes that serve as prolegomena for a research agenda in migration and postmodernity: dislodgement from place, entrainment in migrant cultures, the ambivalence of migration, and identity construction and change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-89
Number of pages19
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

Keywords

  • Circulation
  • Ethnography
  • Migrant cultures
  • Migration
  • Postmodernity
  • Transnationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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