IMER Abroad: PROVIR Seminar – Precarious migrants and access to welfare: Between policy, law and practice
This workshop will discuss the legal and experienced dilemmas found in the encounter between migrants living in a legally precarious situation and the welfare state in which they reside. Participants will present ongoing empirically based research on migrants’ access to welfare in policy, law and practice in various European countries. They will also discuss the particular position of youth and children in vulnerable situations. The program is available here.
Lessons from the past: framing post-war immigration in Germany by historical analogies
In many West European countries, the experience of mass immigration after 1945 was perceived as something basically new and unprecedented. In the lengthy process of coming to terms with the new situation and of developing a self-understanding as countries of immigration and of ethnic pluralism, historical arguments often played an important role. By placing present-day immigration into a historical perspective, by constructing narratives of continuity (and discontinuity) and not least by presenting persuasive historical analogies, historians (and others) introduced arguments that informed the debates of the day and allowed the experiences of immigration and multi-ethnicity to be integrated into (national) narratives of identity. The German case is particularly interesting in this respect, since a tradition of tolerance and successful integration had to be invented in spite of the fresh memories of the Nazi-past that were witness to the contrary.
Christhard Hoffmann (born 1952 in Luneburg, Germany) is a German historian and professor of modern European history at the University of Bergen. In the period 2007-2013 he was Head of the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion.
Hoffmann defended in 1986 his doctoral dissertation on German Antiquity historians’ representation of Jews and Judaism in the 19th and 20th centuries  at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he also worked as a researcher for many years. From 1994 to 1998 he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and since 1998 he has worked at the University of Bergen.
Hoffmann has an extensive list of publications in the fields of German-Jewish history and cultural history, history of anti-Semitism and migration history.
Communicating Migration Seminar series
The IMER seminar series for 2014 will cover how migration and ethnic relations are communicated in every-day encounters, in mass and social media, in politics and in teaching at the universities. Has the way people talk about migration and migrants in different social contexts changed over time, and in which ways has it changed? How does migration theory and research fit in with other topics and theories in the social sciences, and how do results from migration research inform public debate and policy development?
Communicating migration will be discussed from various angles in our seminar series on international migration and ethnic relations during spring and autumn 2014. We welcome papers that touch upon this broad theme from different angles. Historical analyses of change over time in regard to politics and public debate, research foci and disciplinary concerns are specifically welcomed.
Mistillitens migrasjon: Europeisk sør-nord mobilitet i kjølvannet av krisa
Tema for innlegget er den nye Europeiske sør-nord migrasjonen. Den empiriske analysen er basert på dybdeintervjuer med noen av dem som har reist fra Spania til Norge etter kriseåret 2008. Innlegget vil belyse hvordan sør-nord migrasjonen i kjølvannet av krisa er mer enn en desperat flukt fra arbeidsledighet i hjemlandet. Den vidtrekkende mistilliten til det politiske systemet og følelsen av en dyptgripende håpløshet i hjemlandet er viktige migrasjonsfaktorer i tillegg til jobbmuligheter for dem som kommer til Norge.
Susanne Bygnes (phd) er postdoktor ved universitetet i Bergen. Hun leder det fireårige prosjektet Labour Migration in Uncertain Times: Migration from Spain to Norway after 2008, finansiert av forskningsrådets VAM-program. Hun har publisert en rekke internasjonale artikler på tema som mangfold og likestilling, blant annet Ambivalent Multiculturalism (2012) i tidsskriftet Sociology.
IMER Lunch: Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø – Social mixing policies: What You Want and What You Get
In the public debate and contemporary social policies in Norway as well as in other countries, concentrations of “immigrants” in certain areas of a city are considered to be unfortunate and something which needs to be fought against (see i.e. Gakkestad 2003; Akerhaug 2012). It is anticipated that spatial concentrations of “immigrants” enforces the social isolation of “immigrants” and triggers criminal activities, among other aspects. This becomes very obvious when a “high percentage of immigrants” in an area serves as basis for referring to that area as a “ghetto” or “insecure” (see i.e. Sæter 2005; Vassenden: 2007; cf. Akerhaug 2012).
In this lunch seminar, the idea of social mixing, which is not just common in the general public debate but also a manifested major urban policy and planning goal (Sæter & Ruud 2005; Huse, Sæter & Aniksdal 2010; cf. Musterd 2005) will be discussed. By using some illustrations both from the academic debate as well as own empirical work, it is shown that it is necessary to be critical about this concept.
It is referred to literature arguing that there is a lack of empirical evidence showing that the residential segregation of “immigrants” has any effect at all, for instance on “integration” and crime (for instance Musterd 2005; Galster 2007; Lees 2008). Furthermore, it is discussed that the imagination of social mixing as an ideal way to tackle the “multicultural challenge” might be founded on a highly problematic understanding of “immigrants“ and their norms and values as inherently “bad” (cf. Eriksen 1996: 51). This is shown by drawing on statements from interviews with members from the majority population residing in Oslo.
Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø
Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø (PhD) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin. She holds a doctoral degree in sociology from the Humboldt-University of Berlin (2012). From 2012-2014 she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for a Sustainable University at the University of Hamburg. Her main fields of research compromise: Social inequality, residential segregation in cities, migration and interethnic relations. Her most recent publication is Grenzziehungen in der Stadt. Ethnische Kategorien und die Wahrnehmung und Bewertung von Wohnorten (Springer VS, 2014) where it is discussed whether ethnic boundary making on the side of the majority population could be a possible explanation for the residential concentration of immigrants in Berlin and Oslo.