RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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153 Migration geographies (1): identity and place
Chair(s) Nissa Finney (University of St Andrews / ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), UK)
Timetable Thursday 29 August 2019, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Room Skempton Building, Room 064a
Linked Sessions Migration geographies (2): labour, work and livelihoods
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
Does dual citizenship lead to divided loyalties? Citizenship and attachment to countries of settlement and origin among migrants in Scandinavia
Marta Bivand Erdal (Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway)
Arnfinn H Midtbøen (Institute for Social Research, Norway)
Dual citizenship has been a contested legal status throughout the history of the nation-state. Today, many countries accept dual citizenship, but political resistance remains due to fear that dual citizens will have divided loyalties, weaker attachments to the country of settlement and invest less in integration. To what extent is this concern based on empirical realities? While previous studies show that multiplicity in migrants’ belonging is quite common, empirical patterns of expressed attachment have not previously been systematically tested against citizenship status. Building on a large-scale survey among young adults (ages 20-35) of migrant background in Norway, Sweden and Denmark (N= 5894), this paper compares respondents with dual citizenship and single citizenship and investigates whether these groups differ systematically in terms of their attachment to the country of settlement and attachment to their (or their parents’) country of origin. Respondents were migrants and descendants of migrants from Iraq and Somalia, and descendants from Pakistan, Poland, Turkey and Vietnam. We find that dual citizens are not less attached to the country of settlement than neither those who have country of settlement citizenship only, nor indeed those who have citizenship in the country of origin (or their parents origin) only. Our analysis further details relationships with several indicators of integration. We thus conclude that the argument against dual citizenship based on assumptions about divided loyalties, weaker attachments and lack of investment in integration, does not find basis in the Scandinavian context.
Intimacy and Geopolitics: Recent Cross-border Marriages between Taiwan and Hong Kong
Tsung-yi Michelle Huang (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)
Against the background of Hong Kong's recent Taiwan fever, this paper attempts to tease out the geopolitical implications of the emerging bond between Taiwan and Hong Kong by focusing on the marriage migrants from Hong Kong. Along with a discussion on media representations (FB pages, news reports, and blogs) of Hong Kong husbands/wives in Taiwan, this paper seeks to analyze the findings of 50 in-depth interviews of Taiwan-Hong Kong family. Employing “intimacy-geopolitics” as the theoretical framework to conceptualize these cross-border marriages between Taiwan and Hong Kong, I will argue that marriage migrants from Hong Kong can be seen as a type of lifestyle migrants, those who move to a certain place in pursuit of a particular way of life. In other words, rather than by class mobility like other cross-border marriages have shown, recent marriage migrants from Hong Kong are more likely to be driven by Hong Kong new generation’s aspirations of pursuing an ideal life outside of their hometown and their imagination of Taiwan as the place to anchor their dreams of leading a “good life,” an alternative to going north to China or staying in Hong Kong. The rising number of Taiwan-Hong Kong family thus provides an interesting case to shed light on not only the specificity of the cross-border marriages between these two places but the significance of the entangled relationship between geopolitics/geoeconomics and intimacy.
Place Attachment, Identity and Rootedness between Homeland and Host-land. The Case of Tuvaluan Migrants in New Zealand
Amina Ghezal (University of Exeter, UK)
In a highly mobile world, place – the physical and socio-cultural territory that people inhabit – is changing, raising the questions of to what extent place matters and, to what extent people identify themselves as “nationals” or “part of a place”? This research explores the interrelationship between migration, place attachment and rootedness between the homeland and the host-land, drawing on a case study of migrants from Tuvalu – A small island nation in Oceania endangered by climate change - in New Zealand. It investigates the effect of losing the physical connection with Tuvalu, the “home place”, on maintaining attachment to it and the Tuvaluan identity while at the same time developing rootedness in the host-place. This research draws on the theoretical discussions related to place attachment and mobility which include:
- Place identity (Proshansky et al. 1983)
- Sense of place and rootedness (Massey 1994)
- Topophilia or love of the place (Tuan 1979)
- Place attachment in the age of climate change (Devine-Wright 2013)
- Place attachment in the age of mobility (Gustafson 2013)
- Defining place attachment (Scannell & Gifford 2010)
- Climate change in Tuvalu and migration (Farbotko & Lazrus 2012)
- Climate change and island identity (Farbotko et al. 2015)
- Tuvalu, sovereignty and climate change (Stanford et al. 2013)

The preliminary directed content analysis of online media indicates that Tuvaluan migrants strive to maintain an attachment to Tuvalu through retaining language, traditional practices and religious expression. There is a clear sense of commitment towards Tuvalu and the Tuvaluan identity, resulting from the fear of “sinking Tuvalu” due to sea level rise on the one hand, and fear of the Tuvaluan identity dissolution as a minority group in New Zealand on the other hand. At the same time, migrants develop rootedness in New Zealand through attempts to establish a strong Tuvaluan community and various achievements such as success in education and work. However, they, especially the younger generations, face inevitable challenges in terms of maintaining attachment to Tuvalu and Tuvaluan culture. Climate change creates fear and uncertainty as it poses a real threat to the physical existence of Tuvalu and the longevity of its sovereignty and identity. These fears, uncertainties and challenges will be explored in the next phase of the research using online interviews as well as surveys and observations with the Tuvaluan migrant communities in New Zealand.

Keywords: Place attachment, Migration, Identity, Tuvalu, New Zealand, Rootedness.
Emerging Issues In Migration Theories
Atreyi Majumdar (Delhi University, India)
Despite the increasing spontaneity of human movement in a globalised setting accompanied by growing diversification and complexity, there is no single coherent theory of migration. A widely dispersed set of theories have emerged from time to time in the last 100 years, heavily influenced by their respective disciplines like Economics, Geography, Sociology etc. However the vast and complex nature of international migration needs a comprehensive theory incorporating a variety of perspectives and assumptions at the micro-level of individuals, the meso-- level of family/group and macro-level of village/town/city/nation/foreign countries.

The emergence of a single unifying theory of migration , encompassing linearity of international labour movement as propounded in the earlier studies starting from Ravenstein, along with its widespread diversity complexity, multiplicity and circularity frequently touching reversibility today in a transnational context, is yet to emerge.

Further, the issue of vast majority of people not moving at all, merits serious attention; then migration of females predominantly from economic point of view and independently of male migration has come to fore recently. Besides there is a need to highlight the colonial past of many developing countries based on inequality, drain of economic surplus, cultural links etc. in the post colonial era generating demand for labour in the developed world. A comprehensive theory of migration may not be possible at present but a meaningful synthesis of theoretical approaches within a multi-disciplinary context is still possible. However the primary migrant and his/her life journey is of pivotal significance as he/she is the decision maker in any spatial movement.. In the near future, a study focussing on complex nature of migration will have salutary effect on its research.
Brexit and the Impact on Mixed Nationality Relationships Finland and the UK
Carol Brown-Leonardi (The Open University, UK)
The paper investigates how Brexit has affected the perceptions and decision-making of mixed nationality couples to stay and live Finland or the United Kingdom. The aim is to give insight into how couples view their prospects in their country of residence and their ‘sense of belonging’ following the political instabilities from Brexit politics. The concept of political and national territories has created indistinct borders that mixed nationality families are constantly negotiating in relation to their own national and cultural identity. The project will combine anthropological and geographical approaches to produce substantive and methodologically innovative research on the cultural and political processes. This research builds on the work of Julie Cruikshank’s (1998) oral narratives collected in The Social life of Stories: Narrative and Knowledge in the Yukon Territory. A focus will be on the oral narrative delivery and the way people think and talk about their experiences. The research will examine the authority of narrative and its consequences, focusing on the recent historical context of the narrative. Massey’s work (1994) Space, Place and Gender is used to focus on how couples and families negotiate political, cultural and national identities in their physical space. In this context space and place are processes, where the physical space is alive in the country of residence and the country of origin, in which identities are reflected in the physical space at home. These are an assortment of political, cultural and national identity processes, which are fluid and intertwined. The paper demonstrates how the Brexit political development of the day, impacts on couple’s negotiation and decision-making to give rise to social tensions and sometimes unity in the family structure, both in terms of politics and identity.