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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  May 2018

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS May 2018

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Subject:

Call for papers: Meanings of migration in West Africa

From:

gunvor jonsson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

gunvor jonsson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 16 May 2018 13:51:20 +0100

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text/plain

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Dear Colleagues,

For those of you working on migration and West Africa, I’d like to invite
you to consider submitting an abstract to a conference panel I am
co-organising at the Nordic Africa Days in September, on the topic of “The
meanings of migration: Connecting inequality and the culture of migration
in West Africa”. You can find a description of the panel below. The call
for papers closes this Sunday 20th May. Information on submitting an
abstract is available on this page:
http://nai.uu.se/nad-2018/call-for-papers-nad-2018/

With kind regards,

Gunvor



Dr Gunvor Jónsson

Departmental Lecturer in Migration and Development, University of Oxford:
http://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk/people/gunvor-jonsson

Review Editor *Migration and Society*:
http://journals.berghahnbooks.com/migration-and-society

Co-Founder IMIn: www.imi-n.org

 Oxford Department of International Development (ODID):
http://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk/

University of Oxford

3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB UK



*Panel 34: The meanings of migration: Connecting inequality and the culture
of migration in West Africa*

*Panel organisers: Erlend Paasche, University of Oslo, Norway and Gunvor
Jónsson, University of Oxford, UK.*

*E-mail: *[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>

This panel starts from the observation that the meanings of migration in
West Africa cannot be understood in isolation from people’s differentiated
access to and experiences of mobility. As defined in a groundbreaking paper
by Massey et al. (1993) a ‘culture of migration’ emerges when, ‘At the
community level, migration becomes deeply ingrained into the repertoire of
people’s behaviors, and values associated with migration become part of the
community’s values.’ Such a definition imposes on communities a bounded
homogeneity that they rarely exhibit. Any discussion of the cultural and
social meanings of migration need to deal with, if not foreground, the
conflict-ridden and socially stratified nature of migration. Attempts to
become mobile are systematically successful for a privileged few and
systematically thwarted for others who seek to emulate them. While both of
these groups may share the aspiration for connecting with global flows and
ending local ‘waithoods’, and although they may inhabit a shared society if
not social space, they do not engage in the same migration trajectories.
Nor do they reap the same fruits from migration, or, ultimately, share the
same ‘culture of migration’. Unitary images of the culture of migration
depoliticizes inequality and impose a sameness on social groups that differ
not only in terms of attributes like age, gender and class but in terms of
life chances. In this panel we critically connect ‘culture’ to migration in
a way that highlights rather than glosses over the heterogeneity of those
who cross West African borders, or aspire to do so.

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