Category Archives: Globalization

Welcome to Trans-national Im/mobility 301



This blog site is dedicated to the politico-historical sociology of the mobility and immobility of people in the globalized period.  The blogs introduce key issues in the sociological study of migration, including migration, agency, and constraint, gender and migration, migration and inequality, migration, religion, ethnicity, nationality and “race”.

Migration occurs on a continuum ranging from unfreedom through to freedom, with migrants and non-migrants experiencing different degrees of security or precarity and different degrees of enablement or constraint.  We will examine the stratification of migration and the role of migrants, states, social, economic, political and cultural contexts.

The blogs examine these issues of global (im)mobility in terms of:

  • gender and migration
  • elite, professional, and investment mobility
  • asylum seeker and refugee migration
  • migration networks and diasporas
  • “human trafficking” and “people smuggling”
  • Indigeneity and mobility rights
  • racism, multiculturalism, and xenophobia
  • segregation and integration
  • global risks, local interests, and international rights
  • comparative international contexts (Europe, U.S. China, India)
  • the criminalization of migration
  • people displacement, migration, and environment
  • people displacement, immobility, and inequality
  • sociological theories of global migration and immobility

Each blog will provide information and resource suggestions relating to the Global Migration lectures.

Lecture 1. Globalization theory: a sceptical introduction


I’m Dr. Matt Merefield, a historico-political sociologist working on trans-national migration and im/mobility, drawing on historical materialist and intersectional approaches.

I’d like to start by sharing a brief transnational autobiography with you, reflecting on my situation as a subject/citizen, imbued with particular attributes of class, gender, ethnicity, nationality and “race” [video1]

This course takes a historico-political sociological and intersectional approach to understanding trans-nationalism mobility and immobility, and the relationships between the two. Thus the course uses the hyphenated term “im/mobility”.

The course is primarily concern with the im/mobility of people. We examine how  im/mobility involves physical, social, and economic mobility for some, while others have their mobility restricted, are rendered immobile or, alternatively, are unable to stay (as is the case, for example, for refugees, and also for ). The course also examines contests over the desire (or ‘right’) to stay, and the conflicting relationships given to place by, for example Indigenous people and settlers, or elite and precarious residents in “global” or “world” cities such as London, Beijing and Sydney.

The course examines stratifications of im/mobility through the lens of people movements and stasis. In examining relationships between mobility an stasis we seek to understand how the mobility of some, for example, elite migrants, relates to the immobility of others such as precariously employed workers, or asylum seekers in camps and detention centres. Conversely, how does privileged stasis among elite groups related to coerced and forced mobility and ‘dis-habitation’ among precariat groups?

The course posits that the migration and stasis of people needs to be understood in relation to other kinds of im/mobilities including, for example, those of finance, economic, socio-cultural and political capital, goods and information. Accordingly our approach employs configurations of social, cultural, economic and political analysis that differ in terms of the balance between them in relation to the specific empirical matters being engaged with.

In the first semester we focus on people movements and use an intersectional approach to consider how categories such as class, gender, ethnicity, faith, nationality and “race” stratify people in terms of trans-nationalism, globalisation, mobility and migration.

In the second semester we focus on immobilities, reactions to trans-national mobilities and relationships between the two. Between the two semesters we aim to examine ways in which increasing connectedness is met with new and diverse forms of bordering and contest.

Some Key Globalization and “New Mobilities” concepts

This is not a course on globalization, nor does it follow the anti-materialist approach of the “New Mobilities” school (Urry, 2004; Cresswell et al, 2006). However in this and the third lecture we’re going to start by looking at key concepts of globalization, the sociological shift from the nation-state to the international, transnational and global, and “New Mobilities” as they have operated as nascent paradigm for understanding mobilities and immobilities in recent sociology.

Keep in mind the following questions:

  • What is the idea of globalization?
  • Is it a useful paradigm for understanding relationships between the infra, inter and transnational mobility dynamics?
  • Does a focus on flows and networks negate the importance of political and economic structure and relationship to place?

Sociology shifts from national to global and mobility paradigms

Let’s briefly map some of the developments in sociology that led up to the globalisation scholarship that began around the late 1980s.

Sociology early-mid 20th Century: bound to the national  context

Early sociological thinkers (Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Comte, Spencer) were internationalist


  • Anthropologists focused on difference rather than commonality (often in an ‘Orientalist mode)
  • early to mid 20th century sociologists nation-focused, at a time of xenophobia, racial and ethno-nationalism (WWI)
  • Internationalism left to radical movements
  • English Sociologists focused on domestic social issues; the Great Depression; men at war, women in the workforce

Post 1945 transformations in sociology

  • US post war dominance
  • Imperial decline, de colonization, i.e, India, 1947…Indonesia 1949, Algeria, 1962
  • Proliferation of new state actors,
  • Cold War fought in other states
  • Universal Rights discourse and institutions
  • Decentred area/postcolonial studies; Cardosa, Alavi, Amin, Fanon, Patterson, rediscovery of De Bois
  • Civil rights, anti-racism

Internationalist sociology

Dependency theory Andre Gunder Frank

‘Modernization’ Talcott Parsons

‘Third World’ Peter Worsley

  • Shift from comparative internationalist thinking to thinking in terms of global processes and dynamics
  • Partial shift from the nation-state as the unit of analysis to interpenetration between states:
  • differentiate between different groups within states and their relation to corresponding groups in other states
  • Travel, Migration, Financial flows, Cultures in common

Thinking globally:  World Systems

  • Capitalist trade networks across nations more important than static political structures (states)
  • Core, semi-periphery, periphery bound together through transnational trade & competition
  • Logic of Accumulation dominates:
  • System expansive and self-protecting; tends to entrench advantage
  • Politically pluralist; economically unifying; socially divisive
  • World systems: Capitalism progressively ties more and more societies into the global market
  • System tends to maximise comparative advantage through adaption of labour & market relations
  • Criticisms: underplays importance of political and state structures (incl. state driven technological & commercial developments), colonial conquest and pathways

Globalization = the increasing interconnectedness of the world

Through greater movement and flows of people, finance, objects, information and ideas

  ….  across space ….

                                  and at a faster speed than in previous eras ….

“Compression of the world” bringing the far apart and different together” (Robertson, 1992:8)


How are the global and local connected? Held et al. distinguish between flows and networks.

Flows = movements of things, people, symbols, tokens and information across space

Networks = regularised or patterned interacts

Networks include those of communication and information technology, and interpersonal networks involving individuals and groups (Singh Grewal 2008).

The concept of globalization includes the supposition that an increasing number of social structures (e.g. states, cities, law) and social institutions (the family, religion, sport) are interconnected 21

Amin (2002: 395) argues, global networks allow innumerable business, cultural, migrant, political, criminal and other agents to ‘make space’ work for them by connecting and energizing their previously separate practices.

According to Castells (1996: 470), by the 1990s networks dependent on IT become the most dynamic and appropriate vehicles through which to deal with virtually all kinds of global activity, Cohen, Kennedy (Page 37).

Paul Ritzer (2010: 14) emphasizes the role of information technology.

Digital networks provide the technological infrastructure for the emergence of contemporary network-based social forms … enhancing the speed, flexibility, and global reach of information flows, allowing for communication at a distance in real time, … allowing communities to sustain interactions across vast distances.

People involved in networks can communicate all sorts of information to one another in various ways – telephone calls, snail-mail, e-mail, blogs, social networking sites, and so on. These networks have revolutionized and greatly expanded the global flow of information. As with all other structures, such networks can be blocked (or ‘bordered’) d in various ways (e.g. the “Great Firewall”).

Global Cities

The local and the global are also connected, or relayed through centrifugal nodes called “global” or “world” cities whose networks transcend and remodel that nation-state.

Global (Sassen 1991, 2013) and world cities (Derudder et al. 2012)  are increasingly interconnected with one another directly rather than through the nation-states in which they happen to exist. The financial markets of the world cities of New York, London, and Tokyo are tightly linked with the result that all sorts of financial products flow among them and at lightning speed ( Ritzer and Dean,  14).

Deterritorialization, supraterritorialization, and aterritoriality

A key aspect of globalization theory in relation to im/mobilities is the idea that the nation-state and its territory are being transgressed, or ‘debordered’ by globalizing flows (including the movement of people).

In globalization theories, frameworks for understanding, action and relationships shift beyond the local and national bordered territory  (Robertson, 1992:8).

Scholte (2005) originally used the term ‘deterritorialization” as the central feature of globalization. However, he came to think that the term exaggerated the extent to which the territorial (i.e., that  which is bounded within the nation state) had been overcome and re-developed his concept as “supraterritorialization”.

Supraterritoriality refers to a form of (re-)spatialization in which social space
is not confined by territory, distance or time.

Supraterritorialization is more than just transplanetary connection. It involves breaks with territorialist geography.

Supraterritorial relations involve not just an intensification of links across the world but different types of global connectivity. This intensification of links across boundaries also involves the decline of those boundaries. Links transcend and detach from territory. (Martell, 8/277)

Supraterritorialial linkages are more than just Time space Compression (David Harvey 1989), the shrinking of space, and the reduction of the time required by a wide range of processes, brought about by changes in transportation and communication technologies advanced mainly by capitalist corporations (Ritzer & Dean, 2012:238).

Compression is the intensification of links and relations. Scholte argues that Supraterritorialism involves new kinds of relations that transcend the bordered territory of the nation state.

These links involve simultaneity and instantaneity. Examples include telecommunications; global media; finance; migration; the internet; ecological problems; global consciousness.

Supre/de-territorialised nation states

The deterritorialising aspects of mobility problematise static concepts of the state, sovereignty, citizenship and subjectivity. The state is thought to have had its sovereignty diminished as global economic actors became powerful enough to dictate the forms of political economy required of nation-states. Evans (2009) focuses on the ways in which neoliberal globalization has weakened state interest in and capacity to implement national social policy. Actors such as the IMF have a strong influence over national government, including the extent of the welfare state. Conversely, states are not necessarily passive recipients but have, to differing degrees, the capacity to actively position themselves in accordance with the requirements of the global economy (Dadush and Shaw: 2012) Sassen (2006)
emphasized the role that state actions played in contributing to the
development of globalization.

Qualified critique of the territorial

Scholte’s supranationalism is qualified by the acknowledgement that the territorial remains important, especially in some areas: production, governance, ecology and,
allegiance. Global liquidity and flows are not assumed to be unhindered.

Held et al make a similar qualification in their concept of globalization as aterritorial. By this they mean it make involve activities that go beyond being coterminious with territories (activities that are deterritorialising), but also involve reterritorialization, involving globalization being established in regions and subnational areas, as well as encouraging, in some instances, nationalism (Held et al, Martell 10/277).

While claiming that global supraterritoriality is new,  Scholte conceded that  territories and borders remain important. Sceptics argue that it is hard to see how the examples he uses are anymore more than instances of transplanetary connections, and that his examples are better described as instances of liberalisation, internationalisation and westernisation (all dynamics predating globalization).

In terms of people movements, supraterritoriality (the global transformation of bordered territoriality) doesn’t appear to be empirically valid. If it were, there should be forms of borderless travel and migration on a global scale. Instead we have contested forms of movement within regional, international and national regulation, in combination with a minor degree of elite transnationalism (i.e, financial services, investment migration).

For Neil Brenner (1999) argued, globalization, to the degree that it consists of deterritorialisation – the increase in the intensity of the trans-bordered flows of processes such as capital, information, and communication which lend themselves to immediacy – is premised upon processes of re-territorialisation that facilitate these flows, wherein space is regulated in order to enable these temporal flows.

Re and de-territorialized spatio-temporalities – for example – those of the privileging (through, for example, the transnational architecture of financial deregulation) of global cities and their concentric maps of production – also work to re-border the global process of production Subsequently, as Gidwani and Sivaramakrishnan (200) observe, the compression of spatio-temporality is matched by its expansion, ‘with the result that some cities, countries and regions have become increasingly disassociated and marginalised’.

Globalism and Cosmopolitanism

One of the key ways globalization theorists think of interconnectedness is ideational and normative. Many globalization theorists have a committment to cosmopolitanism (see, for example, Archibugi and Held, 1995; Held, 1995; Archibugi, 2004). This involves the development of what is sometimes called global consciousness. Issues are seen as affecting people globally and as needing a global response rather than national responses. Human rights, war, ecological problems, drugs, crime, economic instability, inequality are some of the issues that cosmpolitans view as requiring a global response. For this, they turn to global fora and international interventions, based on cooperation grounded by a cosmopolitan consciousness.Other globalization theorists who see global consciousness as akey element of globalization include Robertson, Water (2001), and Holton (2005).

Global consciousness is thought to be developing in relation to shared opportunities and risks and opportunities:

Age of global Opportunity

  • New conditions of openess and democratic possibility (Robertson 1992, Albrow 1996)
  • Global crisis requires and therefore enables global cooperation (states cannot act alone)

e.g. global warming, refugees, tax regulation

  • Cohen & Kennedy (2012:10) suggest shared experience of global crisis enables fraternity between wealthy elites and poor

Age of Uncertainty: Global risks

“Global postmodernity” (Stuart Hall, 1992)

  • Uneven development and economic crisis = global uncertainty & insecurity:
  • stable lifetime employment replaced by casualisation, low incomes, lack of meaning & camaraderie

“Risk Society” (Ulrich Beck, 1992)

  • Societies united beyond borders by manufactured risk

e.g., man-made environmental risks: carbon consumption, nuclear power, deforestation

  • Blurring of boundaries between us/them (i.e., race, nation, gender)
  • Insecurity of meaning making and identity; age of anxiety
  • limited sovereignty and control of borders because of ‘global’ migration flows; diminished citizenship rights vis-a-vis cheap labour migration and welfare migration

Sociological approaches to the Globalization paradigm

  • Hyperglobalists; globalization as a new era in history, borderless world
  • Skeptics; globalization is not new; the extent of globalization overstated
  • Transformationalists; acknowledge criticism of skeptics, however, see globalization as the central driving force reshaping modern societies (Held et al, 1999)

Hyperglobalists and the supposed demise of the nation-state

Hyperglobalists argue that:

  • The global marketplace has increased in the last three decades and continues to increase
  • Globalization transcends national borders
  • Era of the nation state is over

With increasing economic globalization, transnational governance organizations and corporations = increasingly important.

  • National governments lose influence, forced to operate increasingly according to rules they do not create.
  • Demise of the welfare state?
  • Demise of sovereignty/ability to ‘protect’ borders?

Hyperglobalist perspective as an approach which sees globalization as a new epoch in human history. This new epoch is characterized by the declining relevance and authority of nation-states, brought about largely through the economic logic of a global market. Economies are becoming “denationalized.”

The spread liberal democracy will extend the global reach of more universal principles of economic and political organization. A truly global civilization will become possible.

Conflicting forms of hyperglobalism

Neo-liberal versus neo-Marxist orientations

  • Neo-liberals view globalization as largely a good thing (despite the risks it engenders), part of progress towards global civilization. They say that nearly all countries have a comparative advantage in one way or another. Some groups who will be worse off, but on the whole, the benefits are greater than in the past, and the advantages will ‘trickle down’.
  • Neo-Marxist: Global capitalism will only create and reinforce inequalities within and between countries.

Globalization Transformationalists

  • There is no single cause (the market or economic logic) behind globalization
  • The outcome of processes of globalization is not determined
  • While agreeing with some of the sceptics’ criticisms of the concept of globalization (and particularly hyperglobalization and the claim that the nation state has been deterritorialised) they argue that there is actually a process of transformation occuring involving some degree of globalization.

Critiques of transformationalist concepts of globalization.

The transformationalist approach doesn’t really take the concept of globalization further than the sceptics’ position. While some of the dynamic concepts such as networks and flows are empirically valid, they do not need to be anchored to the concept of globalization and its transcending of nation-state territoriality. Nation-states have been and are themselves transforming in relation to the transnational economy, but this may be better thought of in terms of the contemporary stages of capitalism. That is precsely the framework transformationalists wish to avoid, in line with their commitments to the cultural turn in sociology, and refutation of historical materialism. They therefore tie themselves in knots trying to save the concept of globalization despite agreeing with most of the criticisms of the concept raised by sceptics.

Historical materialist (“social”) transformationalists

Key migration theorists in the historical materialist tradition sometimes equate ‘globalization with neoliberalism”. Stephen Castles (2008), for example, a dominant political describes contradiction between the national principle upon which the sovereignty of states is founded, and the transnational principle of global mobility driven by  neoliberal principles of a ‘small state’, privatisation of utilities and services, economic deregulation and the opening of markets (especially those of developing countries) to global competition. Defining his approach in terms of “social transformations”, Castles analyses globalization and national sovereignty as undergoing complex transformations, as do the Weberian transformationalists. However, unlike Held et al., Castles positions its complexity in terms of the working of the global political economy.

Sceptics: national, inter, multi and tranationalism, not globalization

Sceptics doubt that what is called “globalization” is anything more than internationalism. Many multinational business flows, for example, are rooted in the company’s country of origin and involve trade relations between particular countries not relations of a global reach.

They also question whether things that are described as being global in reach are not actually limited by inequality, conflict and exclusion, and therefore less than global.

Some argue that internationalism was more intense in previous eras (particularly the belle epoque 1890-1914) and that without its claim of newness based on unprecedented connectedness, the concept of globalization fails.

Skeptics have been especially critical of the idea of deterritorialization, arguing that the national context remains important and that the role of the nation state has not been superceded by forms of global governance even if it has been limited to some extent by some forms of global and regional governance, or by neoliberalism. Even then, the nation state is an active participant in international and transnational dynamics, not a passive recipient.

Sociologist Smitha Radhakrishnan argues for the use of transnationalism as a scale of analysis (we will discuss her work later in the semester when looking at elite migration). Radhakrishnan argues that the academic concept of the global is vague, refers to multiple things, and follows Manuel Castell’s and others in seeing the concept as defining nothing more than “a realm of interaction that is counterposed with the “local”. When the concept is applied to empirical contexts, it becomes difficult to designate which practices are produced in the local and which are produced in the global because the global has been shown to always take place in the local (Burawoy et al, 2000; Hart, 2002).

Sociology, as we noted above, was traditionally bound by the nation state. Class, for example, was theorized as stratfication, division and conflict in the context of national economies and societies (Bourdieu 1984; 1995; Weber, 1978; Marx). Those nation states were often implicity theorised as unitary actors within a global political economy. Marxist system theory maintained the notion of class competition as internal to the nation state.

More recently, theorists have anaysed class divisions across rather than (just) between nation states. Aihwa Ong (1999) and Leslie Sklair (2001) examined the practices of elite business people controlling capital across national boundaries. Ong’s (1999) ‘flexible citizenship’ describes a resourcing process in which travelling or displaced subjects to respond fluidly and opportunistically to changing political-economic conditions within the  cultural logic of capitalist accumulation. For Ong, it is access to resources and resourcefulness rather than mobility that is the issue (Skeggs, 51).

For Radhakrishnan, “transnationalism” can be used to examine “the connections and relationships between different places” (Levitt and Khagram 2008; Mitchell 2002; Yeoh, Willis and Fakhri 2003). The term allows us to maintain a focus on the national while examining the ways in which it is transgressed.

Useful concepts but not a paradigm

That the global is not a useful academic concept for the scale of analysis does not mean that its popular uses are not of interest, nor that its array of associated concepts are not important. The use of the global as an idea of cosmopolitanism, or the transgression of national boundaries or borders is central to many studies of mobility, including, for example Radhakhrishnan’s own study of elite Indian labour mobility.


Martell, Luke, (2017), Introduction: Concepts of Globalization, The Sociology of Globalization. Wiley.(Ch. 1-2)

Kennedy, P (2010) Local Lives and Global Transformations: Towards World Society,

Castles, S. (2008) Migration and Social Transformation, Migration Studies Unit Working Paper, No. 2008/1, LSE.

Cohen, R. and Kennedy, P. (2013) Global Sociology, 3rd Edition, Basingstoke: Macmillan, Held et al, (1999) Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture (Ch. 1)

Hall, S. & Gieben, B. eds., (1992) Formations of Modernity, Cambridge, Open University Press(Ch. 6)

Beck, U. (1992) The Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, London, Sage

Dadush, U. and W. Shaw (2012) ‘Is the Labour Market Global?’, Current History,
111 (741), 9–13.

Evans, P. (2009) ‘Is an Alternative Globalization Possible?’, Politics and Society,
36 (2), 271–305

Harvey, D (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, Oxford: Blackwell.

Scholte (2005) Globalization: A Critical Introduction, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Radhakrishnan, S. Appropriately Indian: Gender and Culture in a New Transnational Class, Duke University Press

Roudometof, V. (2016) Glocalization: A Critical Introduction, London & New York, Routledge

Sassen, S. (2006) Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Holton, R. J. Global Networks. London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Cohen, R and Van Hear, N. (2008) Global Diasporas: An Introduction, Abingdon, Oxon. And New York, Routledge

Chua, A (2004) World on Fire: How Exporting Free-Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, London, Arrow Books

Albrow, M.(1996) The Global Age, Cambridge, Polity

Robertson, R. (1992) Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture, London, Sage.

Ritzer, G., Dean, P. Globalization: A Basic Text

Castells, M. (1996) The Rise of the Network Society, vol. 1, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Oxford: Blackwell (rev. edn 2000).

Urry, J (2000) Sociology Beyond Societies: Mobilities for the Twenty-first Century, London: Routledge.

Urry, J (2003) Global Complexity, Cambridge: Polity.


Draft: Lecture 2 Political, media and academic representations of im/mobilities



Anderson, B. (2006) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, chapter three, Verso

Cohen, S. (2011) Folk Devils and Moral Panics, Routledge, chapter 3.

Downing, J and Husband, C., (2005) Representing Race: Racisms, Ethnicity and the Media, Sage, chapter one

Hall, S. et al, (2013) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, Chapter four

Edward Said, (2008) Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World, chapter one.


Lecture 2. Trans/national political economy: viewing inequality through an intersectional lens


  • How does trans/national inequality work through combinations of different categories?
  • Matrix of domination (Professor Hill Collins)
  • Transnational garment industry, intersectional exploitation, forms of intersectional resistance

Some key categories of intersection

Age, caste, class, disability, ethnicity, faith, nationality, “race”, sexuality

What is intersectionality?

  • Intersectionality is a way of understanding and analyzing the complexity in the world, in people, and in human experiences. The events and conditions of social and political life and the self can seldom be understood as shaped by one factor.
  • They are generally shaped by many factors in diverse and mutually influencing ways.
    • major axes of social divisions in a given society at a given time,
    • for example, race, class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, and age operate not as discrete and mutually exclusive entities,
    • but build on each other and work together. Hill Collins and Bilge, (2016:4)

Analysing inequalities requires intersectionality?

..economic inequality does not fall equally on everyone. Rather than seeing people as a homogeneous, undifferentiated mass, intersectionality provides a framework for explaining how social divisions of race, gender, age, and citizenship status, among others, positions people differently in the world, especially in relation to global social inequality. Hill Collins and Bilge, (2016:15)

The place of class in intersectional analysis

.. when formulating class inequality one should have race and gender in view as well. Capital is intersectional. It always intersects with the bodies that produce the labor. Therefore, the accumulation of wealth is embedded in the racialised and engendered structures that embody it (Eisenstein, 2014, in Hill Collins and Bilge, 2016:16)

  • Using intersectionality as an analytic tool encourages us to move beyond seeing social inequality through race-only or class-only lenses. … of social inequality based on interactions among various categories. Hill Collins and Bilge, 2016:26
  • For Hill Collins (1997), Intersectionality works with a ‘working hypothesis’ of equivalence between oppressions’. For Nancy Fraser (1995) , however, the relative importance of different oppressions is historically contingent on the particular context and power relations. No aspect should be neglected, but one or more aspect may have particular importance in certain situations.

While focussing on key intersections such as gender and ‘race’, much of the scholarship employing an intersectional approach elides or neglects the category of class (Mann, 2012: 112). This is sometimes because of the way that Marxist intersectionalists reduce other aspects of oppression to the dimension of class, in line with the tendency of some traditional versions of Marxism towards an overdetermining economism and neglect of categories such as gender and ‘race’, or subordination of such dimensions as aspects of class  (Bohrer, 2018: 49-50; Giminez, 2001 ;Smith and Smith, 1983:122; Alcoff, 2011; Gedalof, 2013).

Bohrer argues (2018), however, that an intersectional marxist approach is necessary to the study of inequality and oppression because of the context of capitalism and the distinctive place of ‘class’ as a dimension . Bohrer (54) follows Gimenez in arguing that “class oppression is distinctive and necessitates a different kind of treatment, politically and theoretically, than race and gender”. This differential treatment

requires a wholesale analysis of capitalism as a system and a structure of material
relations of production and reproduction, accumulation and dispossession,
which has its roots in political economy and effects in the multifaceted
realms of culture, ideology and politics (Bohrer, 54).

For Bohrer (2018), capitalism is the ‘matrix of domination’ capitalism, in which slavery, colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy, were forms of race, class, gender and sexuality inseparable oppressions that were historically concreted in and through one another. Within this Marxist-intersectional analysis, capitalism is the synthesis of class, race, gender, sexuality, colonisation and imperialism systems of dispossession. Thus class cannot be considered the master-term of capitalist accumulation and antagonism, but merely one of the dimensions of oppression.

Class retains its distinctive analytical and historical importance in the shift from feudal social relations to wage labour Marx (1876) analysed, but is augmented by gendered and raced and postcolonial analysis.

Silvia Federici (2004), Maria Mies (1986) and many other Marxist feminists have shown the structual reliance of capitalism on what they called ‘social reproduction’ – the unwaged labour of cooking, cleaning, subsistence farming, bearing and rearing children, and multiple modes of affective and care work. This labour, undertaken primarily by women, allows the capitalist to glean the benefits of reproductive labour necessary for the waged worker to enter the formal economy without payingfor it; Mies termed it “super exploitation” and Frederici analysed it is a form of ongoing “primitive exploitation” .

Historical materialist feminists operate of form of stretching of Marxist analysis, pointing to the intersection of gender and class oppression. As we will see throughout the course, a historical materialist perspective is stretched across other forms of intersection. Anne McClintock (1995) and Maria Lugones (2003), for example,  stretch Marxist analysis to include patriarchy, white supremacy, colonisation (both direct and indirect) and heterosexualism.

Core ideas for intersectional analysis

  • For Hill Collins and Bilge, Intersectionality involves a commitment to examining how Power contributes Social Inequality in all of its Interconnected Complexity, paying careful attention to Specific social contexts in order to work towards Social justice

Power is relational (about interconnectedness)

Within intersectional frameworks, there is no pure racism, sexism or class-discrimination. Rather, power relations of racism and sexism gain meaning in relation to one another.

Example: chattel slavery = classed, raced and gendered discrimination

Intersectional matrix of domination (4 domains of power)

  • Structural

The institutional, organizational level

  • Disciplinary

The level of social rewards and punishments

  • Cultural

Power transmitted through ideas and media

  • Interpersonal

Power plays out in the realm of everyday interaction among people

Particular Social Contexts

  • Paying attention to the specific historical, intellectual, locational (space, place), cultures and political contexts grounds intersectional analysis
  • For example, ideas of “race”, and their relationship to class, and gender different depending on how they are specifically situated. (Cohen and Kennedy)

The worldwide garment industry through an intersectional lens

A trans/ational industry?

  • Let’s have a look at the clothing label for our shirts/tops
  • What countries are they produced in
  • Let’s record them on the board here:
  • We should see an indicate range of garment producing countries, and maybe some countries feature in particular
  • What does that tell us about the garment industry?

Historical context: The trans/national “race to the bottom”

  • Late 17th C + England industrial revolution via cotton textile factories & their technological advances
  • Global supplier of cotton 1800’s to 1930s
  • Key to British wealth in this period
  • Rural-to-urban migration for factory work: women from the rural areas; children from the poor houses (5years +)Factory owners preferred women and children to men:
    • Cheaper
    • More docile (prepared to accept drudgery and severe fatigue)
  • Copying British technology, American industrial revolution developed rapidly; by late 1800s the world’s largest mills in New England
  • By early 1900s US surpassed Britain in cloth production, taking much of the US, European and (eventually) Chinese market
  • factories reliant on rural-to-urban young female migrants (often children)Americans also preferred “docile’ workers who would accept very poor working conditions (70 hr weeks, 12 hr days, heat, short meal breaks)Discipline included Church attendance; “moral purity”; a condition of employment
  • Production moved to southern states (the Piedmont area, South Carolina) where there was much greater use of child labour and weaker regulation (so greater productivity, cheaper wages, worse conditions)
  • late 1920s, more than half of Japan’s industrial workers employed in textiles, which comprised two-thirds of the country’s exports.
  • By the mid-1930s, Japan would have approximately 40 percent of the world’s exports of cotton goods. textiles
  • Japanese leadership in the industry was based on low labor costs and poor working condition
  • wages for cotton mill workers in Japan were 20 to 47 percent lower than wages in the United States and England (Rivoli, 101-2)
  • Workers were young women escaping a life of subsistence agriculture in the countryside,
  • Again, preferred for their docility, cheapness, endurance of harsh conditions + ‘‘ night work,’’ which doubled productivity; 3-5 year contractual arrangement not unlike indentured servitude; young women shared not only beds, but even pajamas in crowded boardinghouses;  confined by fences topped with bamboo spears and barbed wire; Food was scant, sanitation was poor, and disease was widespread. (Rivoli, 102)
  • By mid 1970’s the “Asian tigers” Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan dominated textile & apparel industries
  • Industries drive by cheap and “docile” rural to urban female labour
  • Wages for textile workers in these countries were about 7 percent of the level in the United States and perhaps 15 percent of the level in Japan. Rivoli, (p. 104).
  • Then from the 1990’s China has been dominant, while smaller countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Romania have also established strengths
  • In China, also on the basis of rural-to-urban female migrant workers, and perhaps this will continue for longer (given the lare size of the cheap labour, and the state regulation restricting urban settlement (through the Hukou registration card system) Rivoli (109)

Historical political economy shifting regimes of garment industry

19th-century despotic regime:

 the factory overseer of the industrial revolution coerced labor from workers without any state intervention

= harshly exploitative working conditions not redressed by state regulation

20th-century hegemonic regime:

characterized by welfare policies and workplace protections.

Consent, rather than coercion, predominate…

since workers’ and capitalists’ interests are coordinated, providing a degree of worker autonomy that normalizes and obscures exploitation and dampens collective resistance. Plankey-Videla (introduction)

  • Under conditions of increased international competitiveness, Burawoy argues that capitalist firms will seek cheaper costs of production in new regions or countries.
  • Hegemonic despotism = “is the ‘rational’ tyranny of capital mobility over the collective worker. . . . The fear of being fired is replaced by the fear of capital flight, plant closure, transfer of operations, and plant disinvestment” (Burawoy, 1985, 150).
  • Capital’s hypermobility drives the “race to the bottom,” with falling wages and deteriorating working conditions.
  • Workers— who are generally not as mobile— are disciplined by an increasingly mobile employer that pits them in different locations against each other; this drives concession bargaining and undermines workers’ movements Plankey-Videla (introduction).

Garment industry built on intersectional and international exploitation

  • Built on exploitation on the basis of class, gender, age (children), location (rurality)
  • Vulnerable groups who may have little other viable alternatives, and may lack the power to resist exploitation
  • Arguably, this has been and remains the continued ideal wherever the “race to the bottom” has been won.

Let’s next have an intersectional look at one allegedly “docile” workforce in particular, drawing on Hill Collins and Bilge, Pietra Rivoli and Naila Kabeer’s 2002 chapter “Renegotiating Purdah: women workers’ labour market decisions in Dhaka”

An intersectional analysis of the transational garment industry, the Rana Plaza atrocity and resistance to labour exploitation

Rana Plaza fire & building collapse 2013

  • Rana Plaza located in Dhaka Bangladesh housed dozens of garment factories
  • The fire & building collapse caused the deaths of 1,129 workers, injuring another 2,500
  • Considered the deadliest garment industry incident
  • However, less deadly incidents are so common they often don’t make the news

Intersectional social context 2: political economy: place, space

The Rana Plaza collapse: significance of abysmal factory working conditions in Bangladesh and beyond

  • Neoliberal political economy of the garment industry
  • Intersectionality of disadvantage and exploitation
  • Relationality (interconnectedness) of resistance

Neoliberalism of global garment trade in Bangladesh

Garment industry = especially bad erosion of workers rights

Located in Bangladesh for cheap, abundant and seemingly obedient workers

Lax regulatory system: safety overlooked, low compliance with international labour standards

Consequentially: workers lack fair pay, job security, safety, and civil-political rights (ability to organise and protest)

Sociological questions: domains of power-relations in garment industry

Interpersonal domain

Which kinds of people become workers in the garment industry?

Disciplinary domain

How do managers, companies and states exploit and control workers?

Structural domain

What governs location of factories in particular countries?

Cultural domain

What are the social norms that send young women into factories?

What are the consumption cultures that neglect/normalize the conditions of work/production?

Intersectional analysis: multiply-disadvantaged workers

  • Highly feminised workforce
  • Use of child labor in some countries
  • Regime favours use of (rightless) undocumented migrant workers
  • Vulnerable to economic exploitation and physical and sexual abuse: poverty, illiteracy, gender, age, immigration status, “race”, caste, ethnicity
  • Lack of effective agency/rights in terms of labour conditions results in poor working conditions and low wages overdetermined by threat of factory relocation to cheaper more pliable workforce/location if this one becomes “less competitive” (hegemonic despotic regime)
  • Regime supported by consumer culture, desire for cheap and (newly) fashionable clothing in Western (+other) markets

Intersectional account of garment workers agency

Intersection axes of exploitation

  • So far we have focussed on accounts of how garment workers are/have been exploited in the axes of class, gender, age, location, migration status
  • We have found that the exploiters often value/d a combination of axes that resulted in greater vulnerability, powerlessness and therefore compliance with exploitation (the much desired “docile” work force)

Intersectional aspects of agency

Let’s have a look now at some of the ways that some garment workers might have exercised agency in their intersectional aspects

Garment workers motivations for and valuing of migration and work

  • Liberation from patriarchal norms/renegotiating gender relations
  • Self-development including education, leisure
  • Challenging urban/rural discriminatory culture
  • Greater income, ability to support family and self

Examples of agency in choice to/valuing of garment work

For Chinese garment workers and their “sisters in time”, factory work has provided:

  • a step up the economic ladder and an escape from the physical and mental drudgery of the farm;
  • a first taste of autonomy and self-determination,;
  • a set of choices made possible by a paycheck, however small; including
  • a choice to escape boredom, escape a betrothal or a domineering father, … the chance to choose their own clothing (Rivoli, 2015:112)

Bangladeshi  women choosing to work in the garment factories gained:

  • A step up the economic ladder for selves and family
  • degrees of autonomy, self-determination, self-development
  • Redressing patriarchal gender imbalance at home/in society while negotiating cultural/gender norms in transformed conditions (where some men cannot support families) Kabeer, N. (2002)

Constrained choices

  • The specific context is important: some garment workers might be regarded as being forced or coerced into factory work (by capitalist, gendered, religious oppressions) while others exercise some degree of freedom of choice
  • Decision making may involve a combination of all three (force, coercion, freedom)

Karl Marx’s (1852) idea suggests a mix of freedom and constraint:

Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Karl Marx 1852

Bounded Rationality

When individuals make decisions, they do not do so under optimum conditions that allow them to be completely rational and able to fully weigh all the possible risks and rewards surrounding their decision and choice.

Constraints might include, for example:

  • time constraints;
  • a lack of information or misinformation about certain options; peer pressure;
  • lack of access to alternatives ….[people] make what may appear to them to be the best decision or choice given their circumstances at the time. Consequently, their decision making is bounded—constrained or restricted—by their social, physical, and situational contexts, and their perceptions of those contexts. The individual assessments of the costs, risks, and benefits involved are subjective, which is why … different women in the same circumstances might make different decisions Chin, K. (2012:63)

“Docility” and resistance

  • The term “docile” actually disguises forceful relations
  • Pinkey-Videla describes the industrial revolution factories as exercising despotic power; this might be true also of the more recent and current Japanese, Chinese, US factories Rivoli discusses
  • Rivoli’s and Kabeer’s examples show that apparently “docile” workers were actually engaged in resistance against, for example, structural or cultural aspects of discrimination or exploitation, and/or expressing agency in terms of positive choices for selves/families

Resistance at Moctezuma garment factory 1

Plankey-Videla’s Questions

The women garment workers at Moctezuma knew that strike action was likely to result in loss of “race to bottom”, and therefore unemployment and poverty. Striking was not in their economic best interests?

So, why did they decide to strike?

What does this tell us, if anything, about an intersectional analysis?

(Plankey-Videla, 2012:396)

Political-economic context for strike decision

  • declining wages and benefits, management breach of their social pact with workers (sackings, low wages against previous agreement)
  • an oppressive feeling of continual supervision from coworkers and managers
  • threats of capital mobility to cheaper countries, media’s portrayal of globalization as a race to the bottom
  • increased opportunities to migrate to the United States, l
  • local democratization, and heightened awareness of collective resistance—
  • However, workers aware that the firm paid above-average wages and provided extensive benefits, which allowed them to fulfill their family responsibilities.
  • Motherist culture at factory, recognising women’s family responsibilities = consent (hegemonic despotic regime)They changed the rules to grant team members special permits to miss work to care for sick children or attend school and, in the process, built a collective identity as working mothers.They developed self-management teams in line with the motherist culture, developing leadership roles for (and antagonisms amongst) the women workersEnhanced autonomy of self-managed teams promoted solidarity rooted in women’s collective identity as mothers
  • Even single mothers who were the main or sole provider for their families saw their work as fulfilling the dutiful mother role. Thus women’s identities as primarily mothers meant most were loath to protest deteriorating work conditions because voicing their discontent could cost them their jobs.
  • Managers lamented the lost productivity from time given for family duties but supported the motherist culture because it achieved sufficient “docility” (compliance)
  • In line with Mexican traditions that exalted the values of motherhood = manufactured consent Plankey-Videla (2012:450-477)).

Subverting Motherist culture

Workers’ framed the strike as a defense of the most vulnerable workers— single mothers.

They used beliefs around motherhood to challenge the firm’s authority as benevolent patriarch.

While still identifying as mothers, they increasingly interpreted their interests as also class-based and antithetical to management’s interests. Plankey-Videla(481-514)

Transforming identities: mothers and workers who deserved jobs with dignity and living wages

Work became more than a way to support one’s family; it transformed into a source of newfound independence, authority, self-esteem, and meaning

So: intersectionally understood: the strike

= Contests over the value of female gender and working class

+ it also led to the striking garments workers’

alliances with actors resisting other axes of exploitation including broader class and political issues

Interconnected (g/local) resistance 1

Responding to the Rana Plaza atrocity also gave rise to g/local political action against bad factory conditions

Hill Collins & Bilge, (2016:1999)argue that global anti-sweatshop movements  draw on the intersectional analysis of garment industry exploitation and collaborate through global coalitions of workers right and Western consumer activists, using social media; Rana plaza led to an agreement among global and Bagladeshi unions for better working conditions and wages

  • Global anti-sweatshop movement faces intersectional complexity: it includes groups with different identities, interests and priorities
  • Intersectionality poses the questions of the kinds of analysis and political practice that might enable sufficient solidarity to serve the divergent interests of groups marked by different axes of inequality and aspects of power-relations
  • For Professor Hill Collins and Bilge, this points back to the structural over-determination of global capitalism, ideologies and policies of neoliberalism, and their configurations of social divisions and hierarchies based on class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, “race”, faith, disability, nation and location
  • Global anti-sweatshop movement faces intersectional complexity: it includes groups with different identities, interests and priorities
  • Intersectionality poses the questions of the kinds of analysis and political practice that might enable sufficient solidarity to serve the divergent interests of groups marked by different axes of inequality and aspects of power-relations
  • For Professor Hill Collins and Bilge, this points back to the structural over-determination of global capitalism, ideologies and policies of neoliberalism, and their configurations of social divisions and hierarchies based on class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, “race”, faith, disability, nation and location

Intersectional Sociological Resistance

  • Resistance within any specific matrix of domination – particularly the hegemonic and interpersonal structures – can occur when individuals pursue self-determining possibilities.
  • Individuals can: • interrogate themselves to understand their predicament, including how their actions oppress others
  • • deconstruct and deny the dominant values that define some people as inferior and less worthy than others
  • • reconstruct knowledge in dialogue with others embroiled in the same •
  • reflect on shared personal experiences and moral responsibilities towards both the self and others whom the same or different kinds of inequality oppress. Cohen and Kennedy (2012:167).


Bohrer, A. (2018), “Intersectionality and Marxism: A Critical Historiography”, Historical Materialism, 26/2, 46-74.

Cohen, R. and Kennedy, P (2013), “Race, ethnicity, and Intersectionality”, Chapter 9, Global Sociology, Palgrave Macmillan.

Federici, Silvia 2004, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive
Accumulation, New York: Autonomedia.

Hill Collins, P. and Bilge, S. (2016), Intersectionality, Polity.

Kabeer, N. (2002), “Renegotiating Purdah: women workers’ labour market decisions in Dhaka”, chp. 4, in The Power to Choose: Bangladeshi Women and Labour Market Decisions in London and Dhaka, London, Verso

Lugones, Maria (2003), Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition against Multiple Oppressions, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Marx, Karl 1967 [1876], Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, edited by Friedrich
Engels, New York: International Publishers.

McClintock, Anne (1995), Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial
Contest, New York: Routledge.

Mies, Maria (1986), Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the
International Division of Labour, First Edition, London: Zed Books.

Plankey-Videla, (2012), Introduction “We Are in this Dance Together”, in We Are in This Dance Together: Gender, Power, and Globalization at a Mexican Garment Firm, Rutgers University Press.

Rivoli, P. (2012), The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade. Wiley. Chapters Six, Seven.

Draft. Lecture 3 Postcolonial im/momility (English case study)


In this lecture we are going to discuss post-war immigration and settlement to England (a narrower focus than the UK, and introduce some of the key postcolonial perspectives that help illuminate the im/mobilities, political and media discourse and im/mobility policies that developed in this post 1945 period.

Immigration prior to WWII

Prior to the second world war, England was already a country of immigration. This was mainly due to its status as one of the nations of the United Kingdom (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales) and its marginalisation of the Irish through a form of quasi-colonisation.


The prevailing racism of English attitudes to immigrants became evident in its response to Jewish immigration during the second world war, and afterwards.

By the 1940s, there were approx. 400,000 refugees from Nazi germany. They came despite the Aliens Act (1905) which was designed to restrict Jewish immigration (particularly the immigration of poor Eastern European Jews).The British government  limit the offer of protection to the amount of refugees that Jewish organisations were prepared to fund. It refused to extend this policy to the general population (as members of the public had offered to support Jewish refugees) as the effect would have been an extension rather than limitation of support.

Between 1933 and 1948 Britain limited Jewish immigration

  • The Anschluss (annexation of Austria, 1938) produced a vast increase in the need for refuge,
  • By 1939, 60,000  refugees, including 10,000 Kindertransport children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia

In 1939 only ten per cent of refugee applicants were successful. Eastern European political refugees preferred over Jewish persons

  • restrictive visa requirements from Austria and Germany, and pre-selection from abroad.
  • Refugees only had temporary residence
  • Had to have own business, work as domestic servants; the Anglo-Jewish orgs had to support those in need
  • Many members of the public offered their own homes and resources,  the government declined
  • All visas cancelled during the war
  • the EVWS rejected Jewish immigrants.

Post-war immigration (1945 +)

  • Labour migration
  • Temporary workers
  • Colonial tie migration
  • Chain migration

Pull factors

Need to build post-war economy after loss of world power status to US

Labour shortages:

  • Loss of working age males in the Second World War; female workers return to households
  • large-scale emigration of British persons to the white dominions in the post-war period (1.5 million had emigrated by 1960)
  • 1948/49, government states a need for a guest-worker scheme of up-to 1 million workers.


European ‘push’ factors for post war migration

  • 1.8 million refugees living in 262 Displace Persons camps run by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) (1945)
  • By 1947 these numbers had been swelled by large flows of Eastern European Jews (UNRRA had become responsible for an additional 500 camps).
  • Anti-Semitic conflict, homelessness and poverty were the major ‘push’ factors for many of the millions of post-war Europeans caught in refugee camps or  homeless
  • Many would have accepted the chance to re-settle and work in Britain

War time migration & settlement
 in Britain(1938-45)


  • 60,000 refugees & Kindertransport
  • 300,000 Dutch and Belgian citizens after the invasion of Netherlands, Belgium
  • 115,000 Polish allied fighters

Colonial workers

  • 1,200 British Hondurans in the Scottish highlands felling timber
  • 1,000 West Indians in the Merseyside and Lancashire war factories;
  • 10,000 West Indians as ground crews for the Air Force
  • 1,000s of colonial seamen were recruited or enlisted to work in the merchant navy.


1938-45: 70,000 into England & Wales.

Post-war immigration

1946-59: 350,000 Irish workers (net inflow)

  • Many more in circular migration (moving back and forth for work, family)
  • their entry was unrestricted
  • Status as Irish citizens granted British subjecthood.

European labour migration between 1946 -51 brought in 460,000 European migrants.

  • 90,000 migrants (Poles, Italians, and others from displaced persons camps in Germany and Italy) under the European Voluntary Workers Scheme (EVWS)
  • British state undertook ‘to meet all the costs of recruitment, transport and repatriation on behalf of British business.
  • European migrants were recruited to fill gaps in the labour market in agriculture, brick-making, coal-mining, engineering, hospitality, metal production, textiles, and hospitals.

New Commonwealth migration Push & Pull factors

Push factors:

West Indies. Unemployment, population growth, and the cutting of alternative outlets for migration;Late 1940s + West Indians began to emigrate to escape chronic unemployment, poverty, and violent levels of socio-political unrest. West Indians migrated to the US, within the Caribbean itself, and to Canada and Britain.

Indian and ‘Pakistani’ people migrated after the partition of 1947 which caused the displacement of I5 million people; many from  Sikh communities from the Punjab where they had been driven by the annexation of ‘West Pakistan’.

Pull factors:

Job opportunities and better opportunities and prospects in Britain, opportunity to support family via remittances. Zig Layton-Henry

remittances that migrants sent home during this period rapidly became a dominant form of GNP in the Caribbean nations; i.e., second highest component for Jamaica 1948-1951.

New Commonwealth & varied immigration

1953-1961 (net)





Net migration

  • 1951-61 + 12,000;
  • 1961-71, – 320,000
  • 1971-1981, – 306,000
  • 1981-91, +75,000 est.
  • 1991-2001, +737,000 est.
  • 2001-2011, +2,184,000 est

Today approx. 5.5. million UK citizens live abroad

Four phases of immigration policy in the UK


Four phases of immigration policy

  • Controls on Jews and other ‘aliens’ arriving from Europe, 1905 onwards (1905 Aliens Act)
  • Controls on New (black and Asian) Commonwealth migrants, as opposed to Old (white) Commonwealth immigrants, 1962 onwards explicit distinctions being made
  • Controls on the entry and rights of asylum seekers, 1980s onwards
  • 1990s+ ‘Managed migration’ and tighter more selective controls on labour migration, including some Eastern European migrants such as Bulgarians and Romanians
  • Managed migration’
    • Immigration policy has become a key area of policy development for UK and European governments:
    • introducing increasingly restrictive immigration controls
    • reviewing and revising their models for integrating migrants into UK society.

Restricting irregular immigration & settlement

  • Policy focus on deportations (see UK Border Agency for press releases)
  • Policy focus on language schools, further ed. colleges
  • Workplace raids
  • Some countries have used regularisation programmes to overcome the problems of undocumented migrants, the UK has limited experience of this

Explanations for restrictions:

  • 1) ‘Securitization’ – (terrorism, crime, social relations)
  • certain policy issues (like migration) become constructed into issues of security
  • Governments try to maintain authority by promising to protect their citizens from insecurities associated with immigration. These promises serve as a diversion or explanation for economically generated fear that the state has little control over.
  • Social relations (see Enoch Powell and Rivers of Blood speech) – Societal security refers to the way in which social relations are managed and how threats to them can be prevented (Walters 2004).
  • Economic  concerns, welfare state and citizenship
  • Citizenship (T. H. Marshall, 1964: 71-72)
    • Civil: the “the rights necessary for individual freedom”.
    • Political: “the right to participate in the exercise of political power”.
    • Social: “economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilised being according to standards prevailing in the society”
  • Welfare, economy, jobs
    • The welfare state has played a significant role in understandings of citizenship since its emergence during the twentieth century (Schierup et al. 2006).
    • Concerns over the allocation of public resources and economic concerns (Bloch & Schuster 2002)
    • Lucassen (2005: 15) refers to the creation of the welfare state and the concern that developed over ‘free riders’. (i.e. ‘scroungers’)
Battle for Cable Street 196

“East End Jews were under siege from Oswald Mosley’s fascists. Blackshirted street corner speakers railed against the Jews, “rats and vermin from the gutters of Whitechapel”, blaming them for every social ill”.

Unintended consequences: changing demography & identities

Multi-ethnic UK and Europe

  • British Nationality Act 1948 granted the subjects of the British Empire the right to live and work in the UK. Commonwealth citizens were not, therefore, subject to immigration control
  • Questioning/conflicts over British/European National identity
  • Imagined Communities (Benedict Anderson, 2016)

Contested racialisation of immigration

  • Early to mid 20th C time of xenophobia, racial and ethno-nationalism (settler colonies took liberal Britain as their icon of homogenous community, ie.e White Australia Policy; First Aliens Act 1905 designed to prevent Jewish immigration
  • As well as xenophobic violence during the war, there were racist riots and then government deportation programs directed at black and Brown maritime workers after the war, including Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, London, Cardiff, Hull. Only some socialist and minority left wing supported internationalism(Virdee, 99).
  • Post-war: Contests between anti racism and ongoing xenophobia, racial and ethno-nationalism

“the state, employer and worker came to adhere to a common belief in British nationalism underpinned by a shared allegiance to whiteness”. Virdee, Satnam.(2016. 99).

  • Such ethno-nationalism was contested. For example, Jewish, Labour, socialist and local residents combine to riot against a British Union of Facists march in the East End 1938; Mosley’s facism was anti-semetic.Public anti-racism, empathy for Jews in England, and Europe


Jewish children arriving at London under the Kindertransport program in 1939. The program had widespread public support (with more offers to take children than the government was prepared to rescue)

Post-war Political discourse

  • Immigration linked to social problems in terms ethnicity, ‘race’, size of immigrant population (Solomos, 1993)
  • Enoch Powell, Rivers of Blood Speech, 1968Powell chose to make this speech just 16 days after the assassination of the US civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, and amidst the urban unrest that followed throughout most American cities. Contained within the speech is a warning to the British political class; that if they didn’t take action and repatriate non-whites then they too would face the longer-term danger of American-style urban unrest, especially from those defined as the black and the brown English (Solomos 2003: 61). Quoting the Roman poet Virgil, he warned ‘As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood” ’ (cited in Heffer 1998: 454).


Public and institutional racism

  • Popular racism + xenophobia; riots, housing & employment, policing, justice system discrimination
  • New Commonwealth immigrants experienced racist discrimination from public, and institutional racism from government bodies. Peter Fryer, 374. Fryer states, for example, that ‘in the late 1950s, more than half the male West Indians in London had lower status jobs than their skill and experience fitted them for’.
  • late 1950s and 1960s

an exponential growth in street-level racism and violence directed against blacks and Asians accompanied by the introduction of racist immigration controls by the state. Virdee, 2016. 99-100.

Anti-immigrant racism at work and in public

  • Major workplaces operated a ‘colour-bar’ jointly enforced by trade unions and employers (Watson 1996: 154).
  • white trade unionists took industrial action to defend the ‘colour bar’. Virdee, Satnam (2016. 102).
  • 1958, anti-immigrant racist riots erupted in Nottingham in the East Midlands and Notting Hill, west London.
  • “We will kill all black bastards. Why don’t you send them home?” (Travis, A. 2002)
  • 11se Asqith Xavier has been described as a British Rosa Parks. He fought against racistemployment discrimination and won the right to work as a national rail guard in Euston, London, thus defeating the colour bar (in 1966)



Consequences of discrimination Late 1940s-1960s

  • Black and Asian migrant labour and their British-born children suffered sustained discrimination including informal colour bar (Daniel, 1968)
  • relegated to being a racialized fraction of the working class (Phizacklea and Miles 1980; Miles 1982).
  • Development of “race relations paradigm“: excluding coloured immigrants and providing anti-discrimination protection = 1962 Commonwealth Immigration Act, 1965/68 Race Relations Acts.
  • ‘integration without control is impossible, but control without integration is impossible’. Roy Hattersley, 1965
  • none of the post-1945 British Immigration Acts employs an explicitly racist discourse; they do not make explicit reference to ‘black’ people and they contain no statement of intent to exclude people defined as a distinct ‘race’ (unlike, for example, the Special Restriction (Coloured Alien Seamen) order of 1925) . Nevertheless, when the political context in which the legislation was passed is examined, we find that a racist ideology was present and that the legislation was introduced in order to realise racist objectives. Robert Miles, 1993, 85

Race Relations Paradigm in sociology

    • Division between theorists who
    • A) see the actions of politicians and bureaucrats as part of a racialising strategy which seeks political legitimation by problematising post-war immigration as a ‘racial’ issue
    • B) those who view the elite liberal politicians of this period as having resisted the popular xenophobia or racism that resulted from ‘inassimilable’ immigration.
    • A) see, for example, Ann Dummett and Michael Dummett, ‘The role of government in Britain’s racial crisis’, in C. Husband, (ed.), ‘Race’ in Britain: Continuity and Change, London, Hutchinson, 1982; Kathleen Paul, (1997) Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era, Ithica and London, Cornell University Press
    • B) for example, Randall Hansen (2000), Citizenship and Immigration in Post-war Britain, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Legacies of post war racialisation of immigration

  • Race relations paradigm balancing of exclusion against integration relevant to ‘managed migration’ and multicultralism 1990s+
  • Xenophobic racism not limited to skin colour, (originally directed at Jewish immigrants), so cultural
  • Anti-immigration historically linked culture to class (against the poverty of immigrants)
  • Xeno-racism (Sivanandan, 2000) directed against asylum seekers, Islamophobia directed against Islamic immigration
  • immigrationpoliticised : Immigrants stand in for social problems (welfare, housing, jobs)

Postcolonial perspectives on post war immigration racialisation

  • Paul Gilroy observes that post-war British society has demonstrated a post-colonial melancholia, a longing for an imagined pst in which white British subjects were dominant actors ruling over the coloured British Empire. This melancholia fuels xenophobia and racism underlying much of the british discourse and policy towards New Commonwealth immigration. This continues into the present, as the Empire Windrush controversies (aggressive and unacknowledged policy of deporting West Indian immigrants using adminstrative techniques of justification) illustrate.
  • Stuart Hall described New Commonwealth immigration as ‘the return of the repressed’, arguing that it represented a form of resistance to ongoing legacies of colonisation. Hall developed a large body of work within a postcolonial perspective, and did much to propogate key concepts within the literature. Of particular note is the concept of hybridity.
  • More prosaically, migration between and amongst the former metropolis and the colonies is regarded as following postcolonial pathways, a particular form of chain migration, networking and diaspora.
  • Satnam Virdee …
  • Sivanadan pointed to the redeployment of anti-coloured immigration sentiment towards asylum seeker immigrants, coining the term ‘xenoracism’.



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Bleich, Erik, Race Politics in Britain and France (Cambridge, 2003).

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Gilroy, Paul, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation (London, 1987).

Goulbourne, Harry, Race Relations in Britain since 1945 (Basingstoke, 1998).

Hansen, R. ‘Migration to Europe since 1945: Its History and Its Lessons’, Political Quarterly (2003), 74, 1, pp 25–38.

Heffer, S (1998). Like the Roman: the life of Enoch Powell. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Zig Layton-Henry, The Politics of Immigration, ‘Race’ and ‘Race’ Relations in Post-War Britain, Oxford, Blackwells, 1992

Louise London (2001) Whitehall and the Jews, 1933-1948: British Immigration Policy, Jewish Refugees and the Holocaust,Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,

Tony Kushner, Katherine Knox, (1999) Refugees in an Age of Genocide, London: Frank Cass

Tony Kushner, (2009),Anglo-Jewry Since 1066: Place, Locality and Memory, Manchester, Manchester University Press.

Miles, R. 1982. Racism and Migrant Labour. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Miles, Robert, Racism after Race Relations, Routledge, London, 1993

Kathleen Paul, (1997) Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era, Ithica and London, Cornell University Press

T. H. Marshall (1987), Citizenship and Social Class, London, Pluto Press

Phizacklea, A. and Miles, R. 1980. Labour and Racism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Rosemary Sales (2007) Understanding Immigration and Refugee Policy, Bristol: Policy Press)

Sivanadan, A, Refugees from globalism, CARF 57, August/September, 2000

Solomos, J. 2003. Race and Racism in Contemporary Britain, 3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Satnam Virdee (2014) Racism, Class, and the Racialised Outsider, London, Palgrave Macmillan

Non-academic reading

An antidote to the far right’s poison’? ?– the battle for Cable Street’s mural’, The Guardian, September 21, 2016

Draft: Lecture 3. Trans/national im/mobilities

“New Mobilities”?

According to some globalization theorists: we are living in an age of increasing mobilities, and increasing connectedness and complexity

  • conveying material goods by sea, rail and air
  • individuals crossing borders as tourists, businesspeople, students or migrants
  • various political, business or scholarly elites between global cities

We might add Social mobilities; movements or stasis within the social hierarchy

New Mobility Vs. Structure

  • The new mobilities paradigm privileges systems of human transportation, migration and boundary transcendence as the defining feature of late modernity (Cresswell, 2006; Cresswell and Merriman, 2011; Hannam et al. 2006; Urry, 2004).
  • The flow of people across time and space; the identities, cultures and politics of migration; Diaspora; and transnationalism have become core concerns for sociologists working in this space (Blagg, 2016).
  • John Urry (2000) proposed ‘new rules of sociological method’ based on mobility. Urry (2007) argues that the twenty-first century be regarded as an era of
    fluidity and openness, in which changes in transportation, technology and culture are normalising people’s experience of thinking beyond borders along with crossing them frequently. Diverse forms of people mobility  including movements for purposes of study, professional advancement, marriage,
    retirement or lifestyle were assuming greater significance; correspondingly, older ideas migration were becoming less relevant.
  • Urry (2000:18) argued that Sociology needed to ‘develop through appropriate metaphors a sociology which focuses upon movement, mobility and contingent ordering, rather than upon stasis, structure and social order’ .
  •  Urry’s new mobility paradigm is deterritorial, based on the idea that we now live in a “post-societal” culture in which mobility is the determining feature that frames social relations, not structures or positions.He  suggested that ‘networks’, ‘fluids’, ‘flows’ and ‘mobilities’ were more useful than “‘society’, ‘structures’ and ‘institutions’, which conjure up images of territorial fixity…” (Urry; 2000, 2003; Cohen and Kennedy: 41).
  • It is also (relatively) free of stratification. Urry argued that mobility can be understood best in a horizontal rather than a vertical sense, thereby flattening out the differences (Skeggs,. 48).

Social Transformationalists

Stephen Castles critiques the idea of a shift from structures to flows, and correspondingly, from academic discourse centre on migration to the new discourse of mobilities. He argued that

The postmodern utopia of a borderless world of mobility has not yet dawned, so that it still seems appropriate to focus on migration as a process based on inequality and discrimination, and controlled and limited by states (2011:1567).

Mobility, Castles (2011: 1567) suggested, invoked movements of the highly
skilled professional mobility, celebrated because they represented the badge of a modern open society, whilewhile those of the lower-skilled were condemned as unwanted migration that ‘re-awakened archaic memories of invasion and displacement’. Castles followed Bauman (1998) in arguing that “the right to be mobile is more class-specific and selective than ever”. Rather than a world of unhindered flows, structure and agency remained crucially important, partially determining the contemporary stratifications enabled free mobility amongst elite groups while restricting the mobility of the poor.

 Im/mobility, agency, stratification

The ultimate issue is not who moves or is fixed, but who has control – not only over their mobility and connectivity, but also over their capacity to withdraw and disconnect. The point is that the poor have to put up with that from which others can move. (Skeggs,  50; Graham and Morley, 1998)

Bauman (1998:86) described the stratifications of postmodern consumer society in terms of freedom, or lack of freedom of mobility. The de-bordered (de-territorialised) freedom of mobility belongs to the realms of the world’s ‘tourists’, while the world’s vagabonds suffer stasis and forced or ‘unfree’ mobilities. He later differentiated between individualized and deracinated Western consumers and the ‘wasted lives’ of the rest who suffer forms of stasis (Bauman, 2004). Agency over mobility is dichotomised betweenthose who ‘cannot at will leave their place’ are the ‘ruled’, and those ‘rulers’ able to ‘be elsewhere’ (Bauman 2001: 120).

Aihwa Ong (1999) and Leslie Sklair (2001) examined the practices of elite business people controlling capital across national boundaries. Ong’s (1999) ‘flexible citizenship’ describes a resourcing process in which travelling or displaced subjects to respond fluidly and opportunistically to changing political-economic conditions within the  cultural logic of capitalist accumulation. For Ong, it is access to resources and resourcefulness rather than mobility that is the issue (Skeggs, 51).

Duval and Jordan similar describe a class of elite migrant able to transgress national boundaries. Such actors are grounded in national ties and state practices, yet able to mobilize (capital, labour, selves) across national boundaries. Within the neo-liberal paradigm the right to free movement and the punishment of stasis depends upon the individual’s ability to ‘make the required contribution’, and those migrants that represent a cost to the members of the (Northern) political communities ‘surrender their moral autonomy as well as their democratic sovereignty’ (Duvell and Jordan, 2005:97).Duvell and Jordan, similarly, write of the new channels of mobility that globalization demands for the ‘global nomads’ consisting of ‘financial, managerial and technical elites, and a range of highly skilled workers’ (Duvell and Jordan, 2005:60).

Morley (2000) argues immobility increasingly acquires the connotation of defeat, of failure and of being left behind, of being fixed in place. Yet for some people, fixed places may also be symbolic habitats, a performative way of life and of doing things, in which one makes the most of the cultural resources to hand.

Precarity and the loss of positive stasis  (immobility)



Indigeneity and the loss of positive stasis (immobility)








Bourdieu, Pierre, 1984. Distinction: A Social Critique of Judgement and Taste, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Burawoy, Michael; Blum, J.A; Sheba, G, Gille, S; Gowan, L.H; Klawiter, M; Lopez, S.H; O Riain; Thayer, M (2000) Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections, and Imaginations in a Postmodern World, Berkeley, University of California Press.

Castells, M. (1996) The Rise of the Network Society, vol. 1, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Oxford: Blackwell (rev. edn 2000).

Cohen, R. and Kennedy, P. (2013) Global Sociology, 3rd Edition, Basingstoke: Macmillan

Hart, G.P, (2002) Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Berkeley, University of California Press.

Moore, Henrietta L. (2004) Global Anxieties: Concept Metaphors and Pre-Theoretical Commitments in Anthropology, Anthropological Theory, 4 (1) 72-88.

Radhakrishnan, S. Appropriately Indian: Gender and Culture in a New Transnational Class, Duke University Press

Urry, J. (2000) Sociology Beyond Societies: Mobilities for the Twenty-first Century, London: Routledge.

Urry, J. (2003) Global Complexity, Cambridge: Polity.

Urry, J. (2007) Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity

Wallerstein, I. (1974) The Modern World-system I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-economy in the Sixteenth Century, New York, Academic Press

Lecture 4.Why and how people migrate within and beyond national borders

Migration reasons, networks and scale (infra, international, global)

  • What is a migrant?
  • Do people migrate because of push or pull factors? Or sometimes Both?
  • Does the political economy structure their choices/actions?
  • Migration Networks
  • How can we characterize migration  in relation to internal mobility, international mobility and globalisation?

King, R (2012) “Theories and Typologies of Migration: An Overview and Primer”

Who or what is a Migrant?

  • International migrant: “any person who lives temporarily or permanently in a country where he or she was not born, and has acquired some significant social ties to this country.” (United Nations)
  • Citizens, residents, settled immigrants (ius sanguinis), irregular/undocumented/illegal migrants
  • Internal migration: rural to urban migration; world cities, displacement, immobility

Ritzer, George; Dean, Paul. Globalization: A Basic Text (p. 264).Tthe UN estimates there are 232 million international migrants, or about 3.2% of the world’s population (UN 2013b).

Who or what isn’t a migrant?

The Immobility Paradox

  • Wage + unemployment differences in diverse locations suggest many more people should migrate.

Why don’t they?

  • Positive choice; people are rooted: family ties, jobs, culture, feeling at home
  • Lack of choice: poverty, political, institutional barriers

Malmerg, G 1997

Is it because they do not want to, or cannot? “It is one of the ironies of globalisation that whilst goods, capital, knowledge, entrepreneurship and the media are free to flow across borders, labour, that other crucial factor of production, is not. In fact, on the whole people are less free to migrate now than they were a hundred years ago”

King, R 5-6.

Why do people migrate: push-pull theory (based on neo-classical economics)

Push factors operating from the region or country of origin

  • Poverty, unemployment, landlessness, rapid population growth, political repression, low social status, poor marriage prospects etc.

Pull factors operating from the place or country of destination:

  • Better income and job prospects, better education and welfare systems, land to settle and farm, good environmental and living conditions, political freedom

Neoclassical economic paradigm

  • Economics paradigm, based on principles of utility maximisation, rational choice, factor-price differentials between regions and countries, and labour mobility.
  • Macroeconomic: migration results from the uneven spatial distribution of labour re other factors of production (land, capital).
  • Micro level, migration: the result of decisions made by individual ‘rational actors’ who weigh up the pros and cons of moving relative to staying, based on abundant information about the options.
  • Cost-benefit calculus) decisions based on returns to the individual’s investment in his or her human capital (Sjaastad, 1962; Borjas, 1989).

Criticisms of the neoclassical approach

Neoclassical approach neglects:

  • why so few people actually migrate, despite the apparent incentives to do so;
  • why some countries have high rates of out-migration whilst others (with the same structural economic conditions) have very low rates (Arango, 2004: 19-20)
  • personal, family or socio-cultural factors
  • multiple barriers to international movement
  • post-colonial pathways: histories of colonialism that linked certain countries together and not others
  • dependency and underdevelopment in the world economy
  • Other theoretical frameworks: Marxist political economy, historical developmentalism, systems theory, ‘new economics’ of migration (1970s -1980s).King, R (2012:14)

Historical-structural models

Causes of international migration; historically formed macro-structural forces, exploitative + inequitable global capitalism (Morawska 2012: 55).

Marxist interpretation of capitalism, (under) development, and the structuring of the world economy; dual and segmented labour markets, dependency theory, and world systems theory.

Dual Labour Market

Migrants are pulled (not pushed): international labour migration primarily driven by demand for cheap and flexible labour in advanced industrialised countries (Piore M. J. 1979)

Dual labour market  (advanced industrialised countries):

 primary labour market = secure, well-paid jobs for native workers; secondary labour market = low-skill, low-wage, insecure and generally unpleasant jobs in factories and the service sector, filled mainly by migrant workers because such jobs are shunned by local workers.

The very presence of migrant workers reinforces the undesirability of these secondary-sector jobs for the local labour force, which in turn enables employers to drive down wages and working conditions even more.

Segmented labour market; creation of these jobs precedes the migrants who fill them (Samers 2010: 65). UK, post war transport, health; 1990s-2000s… agriculture, service, food prep, construction, ….

Why do Foreign workers accept these poor positions?

a)Lack of bargaining power (especially if they are undocumented)

b)poor wages and jobs preferable to poverty/unemployment

Global Cities

  • Clustering of corporate headquarters, financial centres and related producer services. London and New York , Sydney, Shanghai, ….
  • Very low-income inhabitants geared to serve the needs of high-income inhabitants.
  • High end; finance, investors, professionals
  • Low-end; restaurants and hotel workers, cleaning office and house cleaners, carers (children, elderly, disabled); “precariat work” (Standing 2011); mainly undertaken by immigrants from poor countries

World Systems Theory

Global market economy + ‘new international division of labour’ NIDL (Froebel et al. 1980) asymmetric ties of trade, capital penetration and migration

  • ‘Core’ = dominant capitalist powers
  • ‘Periphery’: dependent on ‘core’ through.
  • ‘Semi-periphery’ intermediate in terms of their wealth and interdependent status

Wallerstein, 1974, 1979

  • Capitalist penetration into periphery dislodges rural labour and traditional patterns of employment and subsistence, creating possible mobile labour
  • This re/production of a ‘reserve army’ (Marxist term) enabled ‘core’ to pull this labour wherever it was needed (e.g., low-wage, low-status labour in global cities
  • A historically continuous global market serving capitalism’s demand for exploitable slave-like workers (Cohen, R. 1987; Potts, L. 1990)

Criticisms of the historical-structural model

  • Neglecting agency via historical determinism

Migrants ‘passive pawns in the play of great powers and world processes presided over by the logic of capital accumulation’ (Arango 2004: 27).

Millions of migrants exploited “but others make progress, succeed, and prosper” (King, R, 2012)

Sisters in Time ….

  • The role of the state neglected

Political economy models

Labour-demand + state or supra-state [EU]) make immigration policies – quota and admission systems, regulations of entry, duration of stay, work permits, citizenship rights etc. –  shape the volume, dynamics and geography of international migration.

Hegemonic stability model

Global economic system; political + military power of dominant nations regulates global trade, finance, and international migration.

(Morawska. 2007:4).

Hegemonic (neoliberal) receiver-states regulate global trade, finance, and international migration. (Morawska. 2007:4).

Growing connectivity between migration, globalisation, +  ‘social transformation’ – ‘major shifts in dominant [global] power relationships’ (Castles + Miller 2009:54)

Challenge to hegemony through transnational societies (Castles and Miller, 2009:12)


  • Multiple analytical focus on structure, linkage and process.
  • Derived from general (scientific) systems theory
  • Flexible in scale + ideology
  • Moves beyond a linear, unidirectional, push-pull movement to migration as circular, multi-causal and interdependent (Faist 1997a: 193).
  • Self-feeding systems (like chain migration)
  • Self-regulating systems (correcting themselves in response to a ‘shock’ to the system)
  • Self-modifying system (e.g. shifting to a different destination when blocked).
  • critics of the systems approach pointto its mechanistic, positivist nature and to its neglect of the personal and humanistic angles.


  • Migrant networks: interpersonal ties connecting migrants, non-migrants and former migrants
  • Webs of kinship, friendship and shared origin.
  • Forms of social capital stretched across migrant space
  • By providing information and contacts, they direct migrants to destinations where help is available (accommodation, jobs financial support)

…. information lowers the costs and risks of migration (Massey et al. 1998: 42-43).

Three main types of migrant networks:

  • family and personal networks
  • labour networks
  • illegal migrant networks (Samers (2010: 87-93) .

all networks gendered; women often active in developing and sustaining personal networks (Boyd and Nowak 2012: 83-86).

Samers (2010: 87-93) argues that smuggling and trafficking networks, are halfway between social networks and (criminal) business networks transporting migrants across borders, and subsequently (in the case of trafficking) exploiting them by holding them in a bonded and indebted state, notably sex-work. However,  as we will discuss in the lecture on trafficking, others argue that sex work migration is generally made of up informal networks such as friends, family and colleagues supporting migration and work.

Migration networks theory:

  • contribute to understanding the dynamics of differential migration;
  • help to predict future migration since networks ‘reproduce’ migrants through time;
  • help distinguish between initial causes of migration and its perpetuation + diffusion (Fussell 2012).

New Economics of Labour Migration (NELM)

  • Migration decisions taken within the household (micro level)
  • Migration decisions taken within extended families and wider communal groups (meso level) (Massey et al. 1998: 21).
  • Decision-making includes income diversification and risk reduction; (who goes, where to go, for how long, to do what etc.) (for instance, crop failure due to drought or hurricane, or sudden unemployment)
  • Risk reduction is important in poor sending countries where ‘market failures’ cannot be compensated by savings, insurance or credit (because none of these are available).
  • Diversifying income-earning and livelihood resources into different activities, spreading their labour resources over space and time. Different family members can thus be allocated to different tasks: work/care locally; internal migration; international migration.
  • Remittances from international labour migration to a wage-labour destination can be used to cover risks, or to invest

Criticisms of the NELM model.

  • NELM disappears household/extended family/community conflict/patriarchy
  • NELM is a partial theory, focusing on push not pull? But does any theory need to be total? (Van Hear, 2010:1535)
  • NELM does not address entire household migration
  • NELM shows that returnees may have greater social/economic capital and be viewed as successful. Is return always a sign of success? Is non-return a sign of success? Does successful migration always aid the household/extended family/community?


migrant activities ‘that take place on a recurrent basis across national borders and that require a regular and significant commitment of time by participants… These activities are not limited to economic enterprises [such as sending and receiving remittances, or setting up a business ‘back home’], but include political, cultural and religious activities as well’ (Portes, 1999).

  • Migration is a part of the process of transformation of social structures and institutions, and of the entire global political economy (Castles, 2010:1596)
  • Not only is migration affected by broad dynamics of national and global social change, but it is part and parcel of that change” (King, 2012: 24).
  • Shift from focus on causes of migration to experience of migration influenced by the ‘cultural turn’ in sociology, anthropology, human geography, cultural studies (and interdisciplinary) King, R (2012:25)
  • Transnational approach questions the linear, push-pull, no-return model; builds on theories of migration networks; and poses questions for existing literature on integration + assimilation of migrants in host countries


  • A minority of international migrants live transnational lives or occupy transnational social spaces’ (Faist 2000; Portes, 2003: 876).
  • Changes generated by migration do not alter but buttress the fundamental constitutive elements of the host society (Portes,2010: 1556).

Migration Characteristics

  • Internal vs. international
  • Temporary vs. permanent
  • Regular vs. irregular migration
  • Voluntary vs. forced migration, for instance ‘economic’ migrants vs. refugees.

Three ‘core groups’ temporary labour migrants, settler migrants and refugees have dominated the study of migration

Human trafficking and people smuggling are two forms of (often) labour migration

Blurred categories

Sales (2007: 47) theoretical distinction between refugee migration and ‘voluntary’ economic migration neglects conflicts producing economic devastation which forces people to leave who do not satisfy the requirement of a well-founded fear of persecution under the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees

Globalized typologies?

  • Globe-spanning migrations without historical precedent (i.e. Chinese in Italy);
  • Local-scale crossborder shuttle migration,
  • ‘residential tourism’, extending tourist stays to several months;
  • Business visits and work contract migration (Salt 1992).
  • international migrations connected with family reunion and childcare, marriage migration, student migration, retirement migration, high-skilled migration and brain drain,
  • Environmental and climate-change migration,
  • Human trafficking and sexual exploitation

Some theorists argue that new types of migration and international mobility form important elements of the increasingly complex global map of population movements (King 2002; King et al. 2010; Martiniello and Rath 2012). Post-fordism, space-time compression, and the embeddedness of migration and mobility in the forces of globalisation and the New World Order have introduced new mobility forms where none existed before. This may not, however, actually represent a discontinuity with colonial era migration.


  • Castles, S. (2007), ‘Twenty-first Century Migration as a Challenge to Sociology’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 33: 351-71.
  • Dickinson, E, (2016), Globalization and Migration: A World in Motion, Chapters 3 and 4
  • Ritzer, G. and Dean, P (2014) Globalization, A Basic Text, 2nd Edition, Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell (Ch. 10)
  • King, R (2012) “Theories and Typologies of Migration: An Overview and Primer”
  • Arango, J. (2004). Theories of International Migration. In D. Joly (ed.), International Migration and the New Millennium. Aldershot: Ashgate,15-36.
  • Boyd, M. and Nowak, J. (2012). Social Networks and International Migration, in Martiniello, M. and Rath, J. (eds.). An Introduction to International Migration Studies. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 77-103.
  • Borjas, G.J. (1989). Economic Theory of International Migration, International Migration Review, 23(3): 457-485.
  • Castles, S. (2010). Understanding Global Migration: A Social Transformation Perspective, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36(10): 1565-1586.
  • Castles, S. and Miller, M.J. (2009). The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (4th edition).
  • Cohen, R. (1987). The New Helots: Migrants in the International Division
  • of Labour. Aldershot: Avebury.
  • Cohen, R. (1996). Introduction, in Cohen, R. (ed.) Theories of Migration.Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, xi-xvii.
  • Cohen, R. (2008). Global Diasporas: An Introduction. London: Routledge, 2nd edition.

Lecture 4. British and European responses to Islamic migration

Welcome, this week’s lecture will look at:

  • Islamic immigration & settlement in Europe & England & Wales
  • Numbers, Geography, Origins
  • Perceptions of host communities
  • Discrimination, Disadvantage & rights
  • Conflicts over Islam in England & France
  • Conceptualising discrimination

Demographics: England and Wales

  • 56 million residents in England and Wales
  • 86% were White; 8% were Asian/Asian British; 3% Black/African/Caribbean/Black British;T0.1% Arab
  • Top 10 countries of birth in Asia ranged from India (694,000 people) to Malaysia (65,000).
  • Of the residents of England and Wales in 2011, 59% were Christian; 25% had No religion; 5% were Muslim
  • Foreign-born population England & Wales; Christian (48%); Muslims (19%).
  • Muslim population growing faster than the overall population, with a higher proportion of children and a lower ratio of elderly people
  • In 2011, 2.71 million Muslims lived in England and Wales, compared with 1.55 million in 2001


People in the US similarly overestimate the proportion of Muslims in the population, thinking it is 15% when it is actually 1%. They believe 56% are Christian when the true figure identifying themselves as such is 78%.Britons also underestimate the proportion of Christians, believing it is 39% when the correct figure is 59%.

IPSO MORI cited in The Guardian, Today’s Key Fact: you are probably wrong about almost everything, 29 October, 2014


Origins of Muslim people in Europe

  • Seven out of ten British Muslims are South Asian with the others being mostly of African or Arab descent.
  • Most Muslims in France have roots in North Africa,
  • Approx. two thirds of German Muslims are of Turkish descent,
  • Dutch Muslim population is mostly those of Moroccan and Turkish origin as well as refugees from the Middle East and Africa,
  • Muslims in Scandinavia from displaced people from war zones such as Palestine, Somalia and Iraq.

Geographic distribution

English cities/towns

London 1,012,823 (12.4%); Birmingham 234,411 (21.8%);Bradford 129,041 (24.7%)

Leicester (19%); Manchester 79,496 (15.8%) ONS (2011)

European cities

Amsterdam (14%); Antwerp (17%); Brussels (15+%); Cologne (12%); Copenhagen (10%); Malmo (20%); Marseille (20%); Moscow (12%); Paris (10+%)


Discrimination, disadvantage and rights

Britain 1997

  • Exclusion (from government, employment, management and responsibility);
  • Violence (physical assaults, vandalism of property, verbal abuse);
  • Prejudice (in the media, in everyday conversation),
  • Discrimination (in employment practices, and in provision of services, notably health and education) (Runneymede Trust, 1997)

Britain 2016

  • Higher poverty rates, including child poverty + persistently low wages
  • Nearly half of the Muslim population live in the ten most deprived districts in England. (2016)
  • British Muslim women have the highest rates of unemployment, despite higher rates of university participation and qualifications
  • Hate crimes against Muslims have risen since 1997
  • Muslims are over 13 percent of the prison population but only 5% of population.(Runneymede Trust, 2016)

France 2016

  • Hate crime up

e.g. after the January 2015 Paris attack 26 mosques attacked (firebombs, gunfire, pig heads, and grenades) (Stone, 2016).

Muslims tend to be ghettoized, living in often run-down Muslim banlieues, isolated from mainstream society

  • Muslims suffer discrimination, unemployment + poverty.
  • Muslims = 7% of the population; 70 percent of prison population is Muslim,(Alexander, 2016).

French policy: racism, ethno-religious discrimination

Article 1. France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. Constitution of France (1958)

EU regulations

  • EU Employment Directive (2003) outlaws religious discrimination at work
  • European Convention on Human Rights (2010), Article 9, Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Article 10, Freedom of Expression
  • Article 14, Prohibition of Discrimination


  • under French law it is illegal to distinguish individuals on the grounds of their religion.
  • laïcité actively blocks religious interference in affairs of state. This dates back to the Revolution of 1789 ….
  • laïcité, it is argued, guarantees the moral unity of the French nation – the ‘République indivisible’.

… the proclaimed universalism of republican values, and in particular laïcité, can very quickly resemble the ‘civilizing mission’ of colonialism. … if Muslims want to be ‘French’, they must learn to be citizens of the Republic first and Muslims second; for many this is an impossible task. Hussey, 2014, 9.

Muslims viewed as Non-assimilating

Our former immigrants were Europeans; these are not.  Arab girls who insist on wearing chuddars (chador, veil or covering) in our schools are not French and don’t want to be…Europe’s past was white and Judaeo Christian.  The future is not.  I doubt that our very old institutions and structures will be able to stand the pressure (Dominique Moisi, in Judith Miller, 1991, p.86)

Banning Islamic Female Dress

  • French Foulard ‘headscarf’ affair’ (1989)
  • 1994 student demonstrations
  • France became the first country in Europe to ban the wearing of the headscarf in state schools (2004) .

‘Conspicuous’  religious items may not be worn in schools.  Forbidden items include: the Muslim headscarf, Sikh turbans, Jewish  skullcaps and large Christian crucifixes.

Burqa and Niqab banned in public 2011

April, France bans public wearing of the burqa, a full body covering that covers the lower face and has a meshed cloth over the eyes, and the niqab, which is identical except that a veil covers the lower face and the eyes are uncovered  (fines of 150 euros).

Burkini Bans 2016

30 French mayors ban the use of Burkini; municipal police can stop and fine any women in full-body swimsuits at the beach

More than 20 mayors have defied the state council ruling that the burkini bans are a “serious and manifestly illegal violation of fundamental freedoms”.

Laïcité and the bans; “protecting” the secular nature of the state.

  • ‘we must defend secularism – the next step may be separate train compartments for men and women, beaches reserved for one sex’ (Alain Juppe, former PM 2003)
  • the burkini is “the affirmation of political Islam in the public space”. (Prime minister, Manuel Valls, 2016)

French colonialism & the Hijab

  • Colonial “mission civilisatrice” saw a moral duty in colonisation: a self-elevating sense of responsibility to educate and liberate populations across North Africa.
  • The hijab represented as a symbol of Islamic oppression and a part of what made North African countries so inferior (in the French colonial discourse).
  • In Algeria the unveiling of women was a way of showing how France was liberating its female subjects from the “repressive tyrannies” of Islam, keeping the veil on, in some cases became a symbol of resisting colonial rule.
  • Some modern French politicians and feminists, see veiled Muslim women as, by definition, oppressed and in need of “saving”.

English policy: racism, ethno-religious discrimination

Race Relations Paradigm

  • Race Relations Act 1965,68,76 (protects against discrimination based on ‘race’ = biological race, nationality, ethnicity)
  • 1980s ‘race’ definition expanded to include mono-ethnic religious groups like Jews and Sikhs
  • Public Order Act (1986) incitement to racial hatred = criminal offence
  • Crime and Disorder Act (1998) and Race Relations (Amendment) Act (2000) both maintain the existing definition of ‘racial group’.
  • Anti-Terrorism, Crime & Security Bill (2001) did not make incitement to religious hatred an offence, identifies Muslim communities as the seat of internal threat (Husband & Alam, 2012, 100)

Recognising religious discrimination

  • EU Employment Directive (2003) outlaws religious discrimination at work
  • 1998 Human Rights Act makes religious freedom a right in the UK
  • Equality Act 2010: protects against discrimination on the basis of religious belief, belonging, connection, perception of membership
  • law prohibits “incitement to religious hatred” and defines “religious hatred” as hatred of a group that may be determined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief.

The Rushdie Affair

  • Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses (1989) regarded by many Muslims as blasphemous
  • Ayatollah Khomeini  issues fatwa

‘from the point of view of community relations, the fatwa was a disaster for the Muslims in Britain’ (Ruthven, 1991)

  • Book-burning in Bradford on 14th January 1989; perceived as echoing Nazi book-burnings in the 1930s

No one paused to inquire if book burning had the same meaning and significance in Islamic traditions, or whether the Bradford incident was largely symbolic, an expression of impatience rather than intolerance, and the result of misguided advice rather than hatred…all Muslims were implicated in the book burning (Parekh, 1990: 122).

  • many used the affair to highlight the incompatibility between Islam and the West: ‘The Western belief in human rights, which seems to lack limits, is alien to Islamic traditions’ (Taheri, 1990: 89)

‘The nature of the media coverage surrounding the ‘Rushdie Affair’ transformed the dominant view towards Muslims in Britain from Asians to Muslims.’ (Vertovec, 2002: 23)

Assimilationist and liberal British views

  • Assimilationist view of supporters of the fatwa

Disloyalty: greater respect for Khomeini than British law

Lack of patriotism; neglecting British reputation & feelings of fellow citizens

Fatwa support shows multiculturalism has failed

  • Liberal views:

Violation of liberal values; free speech, respect for law, tolerance, democracy, secularism (Parekh, 1999, 18)


Conceptualising discrimination against Islamic people in Europe

From Racism to Islamophobia

  • The “New Racism” (Barker, 1981) Cultural racism relating more to culture, ethnicity than biology
  • “Islamophobia” has: A religious and cultural dimension, but equally clearly, bares a phenotypical component. For while it is true that “Muslim” is not a (putative) biological category…neither was “Jew”. It took a long, non-linear history of racialisation to turn an ethno-religious group into a race. Naser Meer and Tariq Modood, 2012

Islamophobic views of Islam


Islam seen as a single monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to new realities.

  1. Separate

seen as separate and other – (a) not having any aims or values in common with other cultures (b) not affected by them (c) not influencing them.


Islam seen as inferior to the West – barbaric, irrational, primitive, sexist.

  1. Enemy

Islam seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism, engaged in ‘a clash of civilisations’.

5. Manipulative

Islam seen as a political ideology, used for political or military advantage.

  1. Criticism of West rejected

Criticisms made by Islam of ‘the West’ rejected out of hand

Discrimination defended   Hostility towards Islam used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.

  1. Islamophobia seen as natural

Anti-Muslim hostility accepted as natural and ‘normal’.

“Anti-Muslimism” (Fred Halliday, 2006)

  • Strategic anti-Muslimism

Relating to: terrorism, nuclear weapons, Oil; Arising from Western views of foreign Muslim societies

  • Populist anti-Muslimism

Relating to: Immigration, Assimilation, Cultural practices (veiling); Arising from the presence of Muslims within Western society

Anti-Muslimist Imagined Communities (Benedict Anderson)

  • National communities imagined in relation to Islamic “others”:
  • Negative othering:

Europe/West defined as “civilised”, “modern”, “tolerant”, “equitable” (feminist), lawful & peaceful

in relation to

Islam/East defined as “barbaric”, “backwards”, “intolerant”, “inequitable” (“sexist”), illegal & violent

Orientalism (Edward Said)

Colonial period: the dominant “orientalist discourse”

  • Homo Islamicus: unreason, fanaticism, despotism, unreason, belief, stagnation, medievalism
  • Western civilisation: reason, freedom and progress towards perfectibility,

Al-Azmeh, Aziz, (1996)


Leiken, R S (2005) ‘Europe’s Angry Muslims’ in Foreign Affairs 84 (4) 120-135

Husband, C. and Alam, Y. (2011) Social Cohesion and Counter Terrorism: A Policy Contradiction? Bristol, Policy Press, (Ch. 4)

Al-Azmeh, Aziz, (1996), Islams and Modernities (Verso)

Barker, M (1981) The New Racism, London, Junction Books

Cherribi, Sam (2010). In the House of War: Dutch Islam observed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fekete, Liz, 2009, A Suitable Enemy, Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe (Pluto).

Field, D. (2007) ‘Islamophobia in contemporary Britain: the evidence of the pinion polls, 1988-2006’, Islam and Christian Relations, Vol. 18, No. 4, 447-77.

Halliday, F (1996) Islam and the Myth of Confrontation, London, I.B. Taurus.

Holloway, Lester, Islamophobia – 20 years on, still a challenge for us all, Runnymede Trust, online, 13 April, 2016

Huntingdon, S (1996) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Hussey, Andrew (2014). The French Intifada. London, Granta Publications

Meer, Nasar, and Tariq Modood, 2012, “For ‘Jewish’ read ‘Muslim’? Islamophobia as a Form of Racialisation of Ethno-Religious Groups in Britain Today”, Islamophobia Studies, volume 1, issue 1 (spring).

Miller, Judith, (1991) “Strangers at the Gate: Europe’s Immigration Crisis,” New York Times Magazine, September 15

Tariq Modood, (ed.,) (2005), Muslim Britain: Communities under Pressure, London, Zed Books

Modood T, and Salt, J. (2011) (eds.), Global Migration, Ethnicity and Britishness, London & New York, Palgrave MacMillan

Nachmani, Amikam (2010). Europe and its Muslim minorities: aspects of conflict, attempts at accord. Brighton: Sussex Academic.

Kastoryano, Riva. “Religion and Incorporation: Islam in France and Germany”, International Migration Review, Vol. 38, No. 3, Conceptual and Methodological Developments in the Study of International Migration (2004), pp 1234-1255.

Kastoryano, R (2006) ‘French secularism and Islam: France’s headscarf affair’ in Modood, T. Trianafyllidou, A., and Zapata-Barrero, R. Multiculturalism, Muslims and Citizenship, London, Routledge, 57-69.

Kundnani, Arun, 2014, The Muslims Are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror, Verso.

Plenel, E (2016) For the Muslims: Islamophobia in France, Brooklyn NY. Verso.

Runnymede Trust, Islamophobia, A Challenge for Us All, 1997

Said, E, (2003) Orientalism, Penguin, London

Soysal, Y. N. (1997), ‘Changing Parameters of Citizenship and Claims-making: Organized Islam in European public spheres’, Theory and Society, 26, 509-527.

Draft. Lecture (autumn semester). The US and the tired huddled masses

Native routes and roots

The ancestors of modern Native Americans may have first entered the continent from Asia between 13,000 and 16,000 years ago via a thin land bridge that once ran across the Bering Sea, connecting Siberia and Alaska. Another possibility is that these early migrants may have voyaged down the Pacific coast by boat, and then moved into the continent’s interior.
Ancestors of the Native Americans gradually spread not only across North America, but also into Central and South America.
They divided into distinct tribes with unique cultural practices, religious beliefs, and methods of survival. These tribes had North America to themselves until the opening years of the seventeenth century (Hillstrom, 7).

Colonial immigration


American Protectionism

  • American representations of identity/Imagined Community
  • Migration
  • Terrorism
  • Islam
  • Globalisation and Protectionism
  • Group discussion

The popular idea of America:
the ‘Land of the Free

‘Land of the Free’ a refrain from the US national anthem (Start Spangled Banner)

Immigration and emancipation (freeing the slaves) part of the founding myth of America

  • 1863: proclamation made Thanksgiving Day a national holiday, Abraham Lincoln gave thanks to God for having “largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration.“
  • New Colossus, by Emily Lazarus, 1883Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Imagined community: US as a land of freedom, a nation of immigrants

Ideas about the nation are socially constructed

  • Anderson: Imagined Community, the narratives and forms of communication that work to construct a shared sense of national community
  • Statue of Liberty & Lazurus poem, Lincoln’s speech different kinds of representation that help to construct a way of imagining the US national community


Migration to the US: industrialisation, urbanisation

18th-19th century

  • Industrial Revolution.
  • British Isles late 18th C+
  • Low Countries & Germany early-mid 19th C
  • Eastern and southern Europe late 19th – early 20th C centuries
  • Each revolution produced waves of migration to US of unemployed

20th-21st century globalisation, new industrial revolutions

  • Mexico (massive rural to urban migration in Mexico),
  • Also, Philippines, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, India, and the Dominican Republic
  • Each revolution produced waves of migration to US of economic, including unemployed


Migration to US (2014)

  • US population = 264,000,000
  • 1.3 million foreign-born individuals legally moved to US:
  • Indian migrants 147,500 ,
  • Chinese 131,800,
  • Mexican 130,000 (but many more undocumented),
  • Canadian 41,200,
  • Philippines, 40,500.

Undocumented migrants in US

Total undocumented population 2010-2014

  • 11,009,000

States with highest numbers

  • California 3,019,000
  • Texas 1,470,000
  • New York 850,000
  • Approx. half of the undocumented migrants in the US from Mexico; between 5-6,000,000

(Kennedy, 2010, 83)

  • Total Mexican immigrants resident in US approx .11,700,000

(MPI, 2016)


America accepted 84,995 refugees in 2015-16.

  • between 1990 and 1995average 112,000 refugees
  • Much more than 2002, when fewer than 27,000 refugees were admitted following the September 11 terrorist attacks
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo contributed (the highest number of refugees last year at 16,370. Syria was second, with 12,587 refugees from the war-torn nation entering the U.S., followed by Burma, Iraq and Somalia

Muslim citizens and refugees

  • Muslims make up just one percent of the U.S. population.
  • During 2016, Muslims outnumbered Christians among refugees for the first time since 2006.

Muslim 46% Christian 44% refugees

(Pew Research Center,  2016)


  • The typical American overestimates the proportion of Muslims by 17:1
  • Only 41 percent of registered voters said that the U.S. should feel an obligation to take in Syrian refugees PBS, 2016

Trump, migration, protectionism

Trump and Mexican migration

Trump committed to building a wall between Mexico and the US

He committed to deporting undocumented migrants (to sending them back to Mexico and elsewhere)

He committed to removing birthright citizenship (where the children of migrants resident in the US are granted citizenship)

“When Mexico sends it people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” (Trump, 2016).

Crowds at his political rallies chanted “build the wall”

Trump, Muslim, and Refugee Migration

Before the election Trump said there should be a complete ban on Muslim immigration

  • Trump issues an 90 day ban on migrants from Muslim Majority Countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen (Jan, 2017)
  • Trump stated he preferred the US should take Christian refugees
  • However, US courts judged that the ban is not legal (religious discrimination)
  • Trump issues a new ban on migrants from Muslim Majority Countries, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen (not Iraq)
  • Unlike the first ban, people with visas and green cards exempted, refugees from the banned countries must be treated the same as other refugees; there can be no preference for Christian refugees

Trump, Terrorism, Muslims

  • Migrants from the banned countries not those involved in fatal terrorism in the US (i.e., 9/11 terrorists from UAE, Saudi Arabia)
  • US Dept. Homeland Security advised the ban not effective for preventing terrorism
  • Many US terrorist acts conducted by US citizens: ie., Dylan Roof killed 9 African Americans at church service
  • Obama famously observed that more people drown in their own bathwater per year than from terrorism in the US


Social immobility: American industry, unemployment

Relocating jobs

Since the 1980s, many companies sourced labour in the countries experiencing the new industrial revolution, like China, India …

Often the same areas producing migration to the US

  • This has given rise to high unemployment in former industrial areas like Detroit, where the car industry failed
  • Many of those badly affected are white working class people who formerly had stable jobs and incomes

US Unemployment: who/what is to blame?

  • Trump blames undocumented (Mexican) immigrants for “the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one”.

Terrorism: who/what is to blame?

  • American openness to migration (allowing dangerous Muslims & refugees into US)

Poor economy:

  • Globalised free trade arrangements that fail to protect American industry/workers

Trump’s Protectionism: “Making America Great Again

  • Protecting America from external threats:

Undocumented, Mexican, Muslim, refugee migrants, terrorists

  • Changing trade deals and tariffs to make foreign products more expensive in the US, to protect US industry



Cobb, C. and Stuek, S. eds., (2005) Globalization and the American South, Athens, University of Georgia Press (Ch. 1)

Wacquant, L. (2009), Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity, Durham & London, Duke University Press (Ch. 2)

Wacquant, L. (2008), Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality, Cambridge, Polity Press (Ch. 8)

Schueller, M.J. (2009) Locating Race: Global Sites of Post-Colonial Citizenship, Albany, State University of New York.

Bourguignon, F (2015) The Globalization of Inequality, New Jersey, Princeton University Press (Ch. 2).

Desmond, M. (2016) Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, London, Penguin.

Peterson, R.D. and Krivo, L.J. (2010) Divergent Worlds: Neighbourhood Crime and the Spatial-Racial Divide, New York, Russell Sage Foundation, (Ch. 2).

Kalleberg, A. (2011) Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s-2000s, New York, Russell Sage Foundation.

Sassen, S. (2013) ‘Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy’, (Ch. 1) Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, UK, Belknap Press, Harvard University.