RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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157 Everyday Subjectivities of Privileged Migrants (1): Intersections of gender and race
Affiliation Population Geography Research Group
Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group
Convenor(s) Sophie Cranston (Loughborough University, UK)
Karine Duplan (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Chair(s) Karine Duplan (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Timetable Thursday 29 August 2019, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Room Skempton Building, Lecture Theatre 201
Session abstract Despite growing attention to what can be described as privileged forms of mobility (Amit 2007, Benson & O’Reilly 2016, Botterill 2016, Cranston 2017, Richardson 2018), this remains an understudied area in migration studies. In the limited research that exists, privileged migration tends to fall under the scope of highly skilled migration or lifestyle migration. This frames privilege around one of two perspectives: an economic-led approach which focuses on highly skilled migration and a social and cultural approach which discusses issues associated around tensions of privilege, lifestyle and migrant belonging. As Yeoh and Huang (2011) highlight in the context of highly skilled migration, the separation of economic, social and cultural approaches can result in an incomplete understanding, that we need to interrelate a ‘politics of moving (and belonging) and a politics of place.’

This session takes inspiration from this argument to explore how being a privileged migrant is not a single identity but one of many (Bayley and Mulder 2017) as migrants’ subjectivities are also “inhabited” through – among others – race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexuality and gender (Bonjour and Cousin 2018; Duplan 2014; Fechter and Walsh 2010; Leonard 2010; Lundström 2014; Walsh 2017). Feminist scholars have called attention to the role of gender in the everyday experiences of the highly skilled (Coles and Fechter 2012; Kofman 2000; Raghuram and Kofman 2002). However, there is still a crucial need to further investigate how much more complex subjectivities and experiences of space and place are from an intersectional perspective. Subjectivities and senses of belonging of privileged migration therefore need to be questioned as complex relational and performative productions that use the body as a central site of bordering in transnational everyday encounters (Ahmed 2000).
Linked Sessions Everyday Subjectivities of Privileged Migrants (2): Lifestyle and biographical approaches
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
WITHDRAWN - From Highly Skilled Migration to Retirement Migration: Sri Lankan Immigrants’ Everyday Negotiations of Privilege in UK and Sri Lanka
Menusha De Silva (Singapore Management University, Singapore)
Perinatal social relations among migrant elites in France
Clélia Gasquet-Blanchard (EHESP / UMR ESO / CNRS / University of Rennes, France)
Paula Cristofalo (EHESP / EA MOS, France)
Maud Gelly (CRESPPA-CSU (Paris Center for Sociological and Political Research - Urban Cultures and Societies) CNRS; Avicenne Hospital AP-HP (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris), France)
Marielle LeRumeur (EHESP, CNRS ESO)
Analysing the effects of social relationships on health practices requires investigating those of the higher social classes. The TRASOPER project (Trajectories and Social Relationships in Perinatality) questions how living environments, gender and class socialization, and migration history produce for individuals, especially women, a certain relationship to their body, their health, and the medical environment in a perinatal context. How do the perinatal professionals involved differentiate their practices according to the origins and social trajectories of care users (and their own trajectories)? This mixed methodology project brings together geographers, sociologists and physicians, and intends to contribute to a critical sociology and geography of health. In this paper, we will present a qualitative corpus of observations of meetings, discussions of cases by medical staff and gynaecological consultations, as well as qualitative interviews with health professionals (11) and women from higher socio-professional categories (32: 14 French nationals, 2 with double nationality, 16 migrants) who had very recently given birth in a French maternity ward. The analysis of this corpus precisely highlights the specificities of the upper social classes’ relation to health, with a particular focus on migrants. We observe the racialized subjectivities of the caregivers with regard to these women. For these migrant women, negotiations also take place regarding the reconfigurations in relationships, and particularly those relating to maternity, work, gender and the couple, induced by the arrival of a child. Finally, the analysis of women's choices in terms of monitoring their pregnancy is spatially localized and reveals both class-specific ways of living in one’s own body and the internationalization of care pathways.
A conversation about being (academic) privileged migrants
Tara Duncan (Dalarna University College, Sweden)
David Scott (Dalarna University College, Sweden)
To be privileged, highly skilled and a migrant is to be mobile. The everyday encounters involved in becoming and being a highly skilled migrant demand a fluidity in one’s ability to co-construct and negotiate the cultural and the political in spaces and places both familiar and foreign. Language, food, culture, dress, mannerisms, colloquialisms alter as this negotiation cuts across shifting senses of belonging and contested notions of ‘home’ and ‘away’. This paper takes these ideas as the start of a conversation. A conversation between two people - colleagues and partners. The Swedish give identity to such a relationship - ‘sambo’, an abbreviated word that means a couple who choose to live together without being married. The conversation in this paper revolves around two academics, a Kiwi who has moved to Sweden under a 2+2 year work visa and a ‘Brit’ whose EU job security is being challenged by Brexit. But the conversations are mobile; they involve a past where both parties have lived, together and apart (where again the Swedish have a term: särbo), in different countries as migrants and residents and their uncertain future, not only in Sweden but as they look to explore their next ‘move’. Using the literature, the conversation will weave through individual understandings of their migrant experiences and how factors of culture, gender, class, nationality and education have and continue to unsettle the comfort of their highly skilled, privileged international movement. The paper does not see a conclusion in the traditional sense. Rather, the conversation continues, the debates rage and the privileged, global migrants try to ‘settle’ in an increasingly mobile, unsteady, unbalanced environment.