Migration and social inequality

Migration and social inequality is one of IMER Bergens prioritized researh areas. Patterns of migration are shaped by complex historical structures of inequality, and also create new and challenge existing social inequalities, globally as well as locally. Regimes of migration control produce inequality by limiting and enabling particular mobilities. Within the frames of a globalized capitalist economy, world metropoles and cities depend on migrant labour, both “illegal” and legal. Irregular migrants often suffer severe poverty and exclusion from social welfare, while “legal” migrants tend to end up in blue-collar jobs in industry, health, service and private homes. Social and economic remittances from migrants to their home-countries create new consumption desires and social imaginaries built on migrant experiences. Having relatives living abroad contributes to new divides and contestations locally: between rich and poor, high status and low status people, and thus challenge and often change local hierarchies of caste, class, gender, ethnicity and religion. Viewing migration as crucial in the formation of social inequalities in the contemporary world simultaneously necessitates a critical assessment of central methodological and conceptual tools in the social sciences. We thus aim for the focus on migration and social inequality to yield new and critical insights of value to the social sciences more broadly.


Parenting Cultures and risk management in plural Norway (NFR, 2014-2017). Researchers: Hilde Danielsen and Synnøve Bendixsen

Trespassing borders – PhD project Halvar A. Kjærre,

Provision of Welfare to Irregular Migrants (NFR, 2011-2014). Researchers: Christine Jacobsen, Karl-Harald Søvik, Synnøve Bendixsen, Andrea Sussmann and Marry-Anne Karlsen