RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018

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326 The geographies of migrant politics (2): spaces of politics
Affiliation Population Geography Research Group
Convenor(s) Elizabeth Mavroudi (Loughborough University, UK)
Sophie Cranston (Loughborough University, UK)
Chair(s) Sophie Cranston (Loughborough University, UK)
Timetable Friday 31 August 2018, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room Main Building - Large Shandon Lecture Theatre
Session abstract This session brings together papers on the changing geographies of migrant politics. Specifically, we wish to pay attention to the ways time and space are stretched across local, national, diasporic and transnational landscapes as migrants practice their politics in increasingly complex and diverse ways. The papers in this session explore migrant politics from the perspective of the migrant, the impact that migrants have and the challenges that they face. The session seeks to question the extent to which migrants in different contexts are able to be political, and whether they feel that by doing so, they are effecting any meaningful changes in their lives and those of others. We are also interested in exploring the myriad impacts of migrant politics on urban, rural and online landscapes and the limits to migrant politics in relation to power. Our understanding of politics is deliberately broad, and seeks to encompass formal and informal activities and processes carried out in collective and individual ways and in different cross-cutting scales, sites, times, spaces and places. Our use of migrant is also broad and includes all those 'on the move'. We are also interested in new theorisations on migrant politics which resonate with the challenges and opportunities migrants have in the contemporary world.
Linked Sessions The geographies of migrant politics (1): performing politics
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2018@rgs.org
Christian inclusions, ethnic exclusions: The spaces of migrant (dis)integration in Singapore
Orlando Woods (Singapore Management University, Singapore)
Lily Kong (Singapore Management University, Singapore)
Singapore is an island city-state that depends heavily on international migrants to fill the skills gaps created by its rapidly ageing population. Of the total population of 5.6 million people, nearly 40% consists of non-Singaporeans. Compounding this division is the fact that the total population reflects a high degree of ethnic (including Chinese, Malay, Indian and Other groups) and religious (including Buddhist/Taoist, Christian/Catholic, Islamic and Hindu groups) diversity. Whilst the value of integrating the various ethnic and religious communities found within Singapore is clear, the ways in which it can be achieved are not. That said, some communities are purportedly more integrative than others. The Christian community is one that attempts to overcome ethno-linguistic divisions by integrating adherents into a trans-ethnic, trans-national community of believers. The (in)ability of Christian groups to do so reveals some of the politics of migrant (dis)integration in Singapore, and provides the focus of this paper. Drawing on recently-completed primary research amongst different migrant and non-migrant Christian groups, we show how the integrationist ideals of religion can be undermined by the day-to-day politics of community and belonging in Singapore. Specifically, we consider how such politics are enacted through spaces of migrant (dis)integration in Singapore. More specifically, we explore the ways in which space is used to enforce and overcome the divisions between migrant and non-migrant communities, and how the politics of community and belonging have spatial manifestations. Throughout, we tie our insights back to broader discourses surrounding the role and integration of migrants in Singapore.
Learning to be political: a comparative case study of young people in the Greek, Palestinian and Jewish diasporas
Elizabeth Mavroudi (Loughborough University, UK)
This paper will focus on the ways in which young people in diaspora actively learn diasporic identities and ways to be political. Drawing on preliminary qualitative research as part of a Leverhulme funded fellowship, it will explore the lifeworlds, practices and politics of young people aged 11-18 within the Greek, Palestinian and Jewish diasporas in the Midlands region of the UK. This paper will draw out the ways in which politicisation forms part of their everyday lives and what it means to them as well what factors influence such politics, such as education, their family, their peers and cross-border connections with the homeland. In particular, this paper will examine young people's understandings of what it means to be political in a diasporic context and how they actively articulate and negotiate politics in relation to dynamic identities and plural belongings and in particular times and spaces.
Marta Bivand Erdal (Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway)