Mobile subjectivities betwixt and between? Reflecting the influence of discourses and policy regulations on the social positioning of migrants within time-space relations

Authors: Elisabeth Scheibelhofer*, Department of sociology University of vienna
Topics: Migration, Europe, Immigration/Transnationalism
Keywords: migration, mobile subjectivities, discourses, free movement, EU
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Evergreen, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Based on an ongoing international project (2015-2018, www.transwel.org) carried out in four EU country-pairs (Estonia-Sweden, Poland-UK, Bulgaria-Germany and Hungary-Austria) this contributions focusses on issues of belonging, self-positioning of migrants and identity-constructions. Carrying out discourse analyses, interpretative policy analysis alongside quantitative and qualitative research on the meaning-making processes and practices of so-called EU mobile citizens moving from ‘new’ to ‘old’ EU member states, we looked at the nexus of inclusion and exclusion in terms of social protection within the multilevel framework of EU coordination regarding social security regulations. In this presentation the focus will be on one of the most intriguing findings (based on a mixed methods design): while prior work has shown that much of the social scientific work on migration is still trapped within an essentialising territorial understanding (Wimmer and Glick Schiller 2002, Scheibelhofer 2010), we still need to understand how discourses of belonging are influencing migrant subjectivities. While in all of the abovementioned country pairs territoriality (alongside temporality) played a crucial role in terms of being included into a national welfare state system, Estonia and Sweden was the only country pair in which migrants did not narrate about experiences of ethnic discrimination and racism. In this presentation I argue that migrant subjectivities in varying subaltern positions along with experiences of discrimination are closely linked to national discourses on the role of the state in society that are themselves more or less relying on exclusion of the ‘other’ through time-space related conceptions.

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