Changing our understanding of migration and social spaces – new historical approach

Special issue on “Migration, Mobility and Sedentariness” in Geschichte and Gesellschaft, ed. by Anne Friedrichs (IEG Mainz)

“Disembarkation platforms”, “transit zones”, “transit procedures”, “detention camps in a no man’s land” – the question of how to govern migration has become a topic central to the political agendas of many European states again during the previous weeks. At the same time, filmmakers such as Christian Petzold have drawn our attention to the extreme predicaments that refugees in transit often face: Such migrants often have to decide whether to survive or to preserve relationships to close persons who are not permitted to move along with them. By transposing characters from Anna Seghers’ novel “Transit” (1947) to today’s Marseille, Petzold’s Transit (2018) uses surprising references to the present time hinting at the fact that neither the restriction of mobility nor the experiences of people in transit are new. What seems to be new, however, is the aggravation of the political tone in Germany – at least as compared to a time in 2015 when rights of migrants and asylum seemed to be given a more important consideration in German politics.

Globe designed by Peter Wagener and Anne Friedrichs

Anne Friedrichs (Leibniz Institute of EuropeanHistory, IEG Mainz) has edited a special issue on “migration, mobility and sedentariness” in Geschichte und Gesellschaft. She brings together contributions that explore transits between mobility and immobility in different historical contexts. Examining migration from a relational perspective enables new insights into the boundaries of the societal. Analyzing transitions between mobile and sedentary life phases and life worlds not only allows us to identify interpretative ambivalences and changes in how mobility is differentiated and evaluated. As we grasp that human movement and immobility are mutually constituted, we also gain insights into the different dynamics involved in shaping social life and societal order, as well as into the ways in which these processes intersect with one another. This new research perspective helps to achieve a better understanding of conflicts over the norms and values that define a collective or society, and thus contributes to a historiography that is sensitive to the historical variability of what is perceived as “distance” or “nearness”, and that considers different actors’ perspectives in its analytical categories. Table of contents TOC GG 44/2 (2018)

The introduction develops this relational approach to migration both theoretically and methodologically. Four contributions from history and social and cultural anthropology present case studies from the early modern period to the present. They address the mobility of indigenous people as a basis of agency in colonial Spanish America; the organized journey of foreign workers recruited for the labor market in the Federal Republic of Germany; the contested categorization of Portuguese decolonization-migrants in the 1970s; and the affective dimensions in the life of Vietnamese women in Berlin at the beginning of the 21st century.

Link to journal Geschichte und Gesellschaft 44/2 (2018)

Inhalt
Anne Friedrichs
Placing Migration in Perspective. Neue Wege einer relationalen
Geschichtsschreibung
Placing Migration in Perspective. New Approaches to Writing Relational
History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Sarah Albiez-Wieck
Translocal Agency in Colonial Societies. Categorizing and Negotiating
Belonging of Indigenous Migrants in New Spain and Peru . . . . . . . . . . . 196
Bettina Severin-Barboutie
Multiple Deutungen und Funktionen. Die organisierte Reise ausländischer
Arbeitskräfte in die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1950er –1970er
Jahre)
Multiple Meanings and Roles. The Organized Journey of Foreign Workers
to West Germany (1950s to 1970s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Christoph Kalter
Rückkehr oder Flucht? Dekolonisierung, Zwangsmigration und Portugals
retornados
Returnees or Refugees? Decolonization, Forced Migration, and
Portugal’s Retornados . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
Anita von Poser
Affective lives im vietnamesischen Berlin. Eine emotionsanthropologische
Perspektive auf Zugehörigkeiten, Alter(n) und (Im-)Mobilität
Affective Lives in Vietnamese Berlin. An Anthropological Perspective on
Emotional Belonging, Age(ing) and (Im-)Mobility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285

 



Cite this blog post
Johannes Paulmann (2018, July 17). Changing our understanding of migration and social spaces – new historical approach. Europe Across Borders. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/oln0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.