Recent years have witnessed growing interest in a series of issues related to migration, including identity formation and change, the role of social capital and social networks, ethnic discrimination, racism and xenophobia, socio-political participation and mobilisation and the complex nature of the causal mechanisms linked to migration - issues that are better highlighted and investigated using qualitative methods. Moving away from the quantitative and empiricist-positivist approaches that have often characterised migration research, Qualitative Methods in Migration Studies explores in a concise but comprehensive way the key issues involved in researching migratory phenomena in a qualitative manner. It addresses themes including the basic characteristics of contemporary migration, qualitative research into social processes related to migration, and the relationship between theory, research design and practice. Drawing upon empirical case studies and a series of real and hypothetical examples, the book develops a critical realist alternative both to empiricism and interpretivist, social constructionist and post-structuralist relativism in qualitative migration research. With special emphasis on the meta-theoretical dimensions of qualitative research practice, this volume connects qualitative findings to policy formation and ’politics making’, exploring the multiple dimensions involved in researching migratory phenomena, such as ontology, epistemology, methodology, ethics and research practice. As such, it will be of interest to students and researchers in migration across the social sciences.
Theodoros Iosifides is Assistant Professor of Social Science Methods in the Department of Geography, at the University of the Aegean, Greece
'Iosifides' exposition of a critical realist perspective in migration studies is a major contribution, not only to the field of migration, but to social science research in general. The exposition is comprehensive and provides the level of detail necessary to explain clearly a complex topic. The book is a useful tool for those interested in research methods in migration and is likely to become a leading reference work on the topic.' Carlos Vargas-Silva, University of Oxford, UK 'This volume will be invaluable for migration researchers looking to break out of the narrow confines of positivism and interpretivism that dominate the field. While Iosifides’ manifesto for critical realism may not persuade all, this volume should provoke all migration researchers to challenge the orthodoxy and reach for new theoretical directions.' Oliver Bakewell, International Migration Institute, University of Oxford, UK 'Qualitative Methods in Migration Studies is ultimately a great help to social researchers with an ambition to ’demonstrate the successful identification of, often hidden, unobservable and underlying, causal mechanisms that are responsible for producing observable events, processes, phenomena, perceptions, meanings and representations’ (p. 220) - which the migration field delivers in abundance.' Journal of Critical Realism 'Iosifides discusses the main qualitative methods in social research in terms of their data and strategies applied to migration studies within a realist frame-work. The realist qualitative migratory research is presented as explanatory, critical, emancipatory and socio-politically relevant. The latter is related to migration that is recognized as ’politics from below’ in which politics are produced by social movements. Therefore realist qualitative migration research can contribute significantly to the ’politics making’ which determines the ’socio-political conditions’ of practical pol-icy making in Iosifides` terms. Nevertheless,