Crossing borders: limits and spaces for mobility of migrant populations

Ιωάννα Τσιγκάνου


On the basis of empirical data accumulated over the years through EKKE’s research projects on the immigration question, this paper attempts to show the different aspects of the ‘technical’ borders which migrant populations have to transcend or overcome in their venture seeking a new way of life; such are the borders of regulations, the fences of civilisations and cultures, the frontiers of rules and regulations, limits and contraints imposed upon migrants’ living conditions and employment. On the basis of data from the Greek experience one might be able to understand the different kinds and levels of mobility of migrant populations not only through the mere passing of the frontiers of the Greek State but also within the Greek social formation and transformation especially in the midst of the present economic crisis. The present paper attempts to unravel the consequences of a ‘sui generis’ social mobility of migrant populations within the host society which challenges the taken-for-granted theoretical explanatory assumptions of upward or downward of social mobility. Epistemologically speaking, a conceptual vaccuum is depicted in the operationalisation of the sui generis mobility and social position of the migrant populations as they are usually moving through limits and borders of two or even plenty geographical and social spaces. The relevant epistemological dilemmas which are unearthed during the social process of the migratory experience might be resolved by means of use or even ‘invention’ of the so-called ‘intermediate concepts’ suitable to discover the ‘limbo’ case of the social position of the migrant populations in the social hierarchy which are equally epistemologically sound as the dominant paradigms of social stratification and mobility.

Λέξεις κλειδιά

10ο Διεθνές Γεωγραφικό Συνέδριο; 10th International Geographical Congress; migration; transnationalism; μεταναστευτικοί πληθυσμοί

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