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1029 - The social construction of exclusion in context of migration

18.07.2012 | 17:30 - 19:30
19.07.2012 | 17:30 - 19:30

Convener 1: Herdoiza, Magdalena (Indiana University Southeast , New Albany, Ud States of Am / USA)

The phenomenon of migration has generated a deeply dysfuntional dialog between north and south (center and periphery) in the Americas, not only at the level of political discourse, but even within academia. This dysfuntionality is perhaps most clearly reflected in the simple fact that most studies on migration in the north are studies about “immigration“ – about those who come in (immigrate). This restricted perspective on the phenomenon precludes the possibility of analyzing migration as the exercise of the human right of mobility, falling prey to that conceptual contradiction in which the free flow of goods, capital, and information is presented as a triumph of globalization, while the free flow of people (human mobility) is a priori illegitimized and considered a problem to be addressed.

Current academic discourse also largely neglects to take into account the political economy of migration—that is, how neoliberal policies have propelled migration by provoking some of the worst economic crises in recent history. The structural link between neoliberal policies, crisis, and migration is no contemplated in most contemporary approaches to this complex phenomenon.

In response to these concerns, this symposium will be a place for a multi- and interdisciplinary dialog about the complexities of immigrant realities centered on the problematic of exclusion, approached from three different levels of analysis:

At the macro level, the presenters will discuss the political theory on immigrant rights from a human rights perspective as a precursor for evaluating legitimacy of current migration policy trends in U.S.A and their consistency with the principles of democracy.

At an intermediate level, we will discuss the problematic from three different perspectives. From a socio-educational perspective, the panel will analyze the reconfiguration of capacities in the migratory context; that is how an individual set of capacities (“assets“) changes as he/she transitions from one environment (conceived as his “own“) to another one (seen as “foreign“). From a socio-cultural perspective, we will explore how the perspectives of Latino immigrant students on discriminatory practices are reconfigured as they cross barriers to transition into a new educational culture (college). We will compare emic and etic perspectives as a means for understanding this phenomenon. From and applied sociology approach, we will present a case study that demonstrates how sociological research (used to create a comprehensive portrait of a target community and its needs) can take on a practical dimension by being applied to concrete interventions directed at eliminating social and educational barriers faced by immigrant populations.Finally, at the subjective level, we will discuss the findings of an ethnographic research project in which the narratives and attitudes of individuals (a group of adolescent immigrant and non-immigrant children in a diverse public school) will be examined in order to undersand how exclusion is constructed in the complex social world of the quotidian.

Keywords: migration/immigration, human rights, interculturality, social discourse

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