Balancing between Here and There : A Relational Perspective on Migrants Lives between Place Attachment and Mobility
In this paper I present the central results of a research project on the nexus of place attachment and mobility of highly qualified international migrants. Based on empirical data obtained from narrative interviews with highly qualified international migrants and ethnographic interviews with informants from the scene, I show that repeatedly migrating people develop forms of place attachment at their temporary places of residency which can be understood as a mode of stabilising and homogenising hybrid identities; here, constituting spaces and integrating objects as constitutive components in their practices of staying and moving are key. Today, we observe a, in qualitative terms significant, group of highly qualified people who repeatedly cross national borders in their professional lives. This has societal consequences, grasped for example by Zygmunt Bauman (e.g. 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2005) with his description of so-called tourists and vagabonds as key social figures. Building on this conceptually helpful dichotomy of voluntary versus forced migration, I focus on those tourists and ask how they balance between transnational mobility and localized place attachment. My data show that the interviewees develop specific social and spatial practices to establish local ties and an identity which is stable enough to withstand the repeated changes of relocation and, connected with this, repeated processes of uprooting and regrounding (Ahmed et al. 2003). Here, objects play a key role for both mobility and place attachment, suggesting a relational perspective (Callon 1986, Latour 2007) on the nexus of place attachment and mobility.
|Keywords:||international migration, materiality, biography, place attachment, belonging, highly-qualified migrants||Issue Date:||2018||Pages:||9||Type:||Konferenzbeitrag||Conference:||Balancing between Here and There : A Relational Perspective on Migrants Lives between Place Attachment and Mobility||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00106747-16||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||FB8 Sozialwissenschaften||Institute:||Institut für Geographie|
|Appears in Collections:||Forschungsdokumente|
checked on Sep 23, 2020
checked on Sep 23, 2020
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