Local Lives : Migration and the Politics of Place book cover
1st Edition

Local Lives
Migration and the Politics of Place

ISBN 9781138250963
Published September 30, 2016 by Routledge
218 Pages

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Book Description

Local Lives contests dominant trends in migration theory, demonstrating that many migrant identities have not become entirely diasporic or cosmopolitan, but remain equally focused on emplaced belonging and the anxieties of being uprooted. By addressing the question of how migrants legally and symbolically lay claim to owning and belonging to place, it refocuses our attention on the micro-politics and everyday rituals of place-making, that are central to the construction of migrant identities. Exploring immigrants' interactions with house spaces, property rights, environmental conservation, landscape, historical knowledge of place, ideas of 'local community' and place-specific 'traditions', this volume shows how, in a fluid world of movement, locality remains a deeply contested and symbolically rich place to situate identity and to constitute the self. Thematically organised and presenting a diverse range of empirical studies dealing with migrant communities in Hawaii, Britain, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and Albania, Local Lives reorients research in migration and transnational studies around locality. As such, it will appeal to social scientists working on questions relating to landscape, identity and belonging; race and ethnicity; and migration and transnationalism.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: local migrants and the politics of being in place, Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich and Catherine Trundle; Part I Migrants and the Politics of Land Ownership: Migrant routes and local roots: negotiating property in Dhërmi/Drimades in Southern Albania, NataÅ¡a Gregoriè Bon; Against the gated community: contesting the 'ugly American dream' through rural New Zealand dreams, Catherine Trundle; Past imperfect: displacing Hawaiians as hosts in a 'drop out' community in Hawai'i, Lucy Pickering. Part II Landscapes of Belonging: 'We are not expats; we are not migrants; we are Sauliacoise': laying claim to belonging in rural France, Michaela Benson; Ambiguous foreigners: neighbours share more than geographical space, Jacqueline Waldren. Part III Houses and Homes: Intimate Migrant Place: A reluctant locality: the politics of place and progress in Santo Domingo, Erin B. Taylor; Little Anglo-India: making Australia 'local' at St Joseph's hostel, Robyn Andrews. Part IV Contesting Urban Place: Invoking a community of engagement; mobility and place in a small English town, Karen O'Reilly; Negotiating religious expression and citizenry belonging: Bosnian experiences in suburban Melbourne, Lejler Voloder; Migrants on campus: becoming a local foreign academic, Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich; Epilogue: the cosmopolitan justice of a direction home, Nigel Rapport; Index.

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Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich is Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand Catherine Trundle is Lecturer of Anthropology in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


'This timely volume presents a set of compelling ethnographic accounts that refocus our attention on processes of place-making in studies of movement. Tracing the means by which people make the places where they have settled matter to them, Local Lives underlines the importance of fully recognizing a fundamental dimension of migration that is too often elided in contemporary transnational studies.' Vered Amit, Concordia University, USA 'Opening up new perspectives on the topic of migration, one of today's most challenging social issues, what is particularly important is the comparative view this book contains through concrete studies of a wide variety of migrant experiences. Dealing with attachment to place, but reflecting on what it means to break up and move, it is a book that has important interdisciplinary implications.' Helge Rønning, University of Oslo, Norway ’This edited volume [...] constitutes a timely and precious contribution to the emerging field of mobility studies.’ Anthropological Forum