Everyone is talking about migration. At the heart of contemporary concerns about human mobility lies a perceived tension between embedded ‘natives’ and out of place ‘foreigners’. Scholarship has nuanced social understandings of migration and migratory processes but continues to reinforce the strongly imagined norm of national and stable communities disrupted by migrants. This challenge has been described as ‘methodological nationalism’. How can we re-frame how we think and talk about migration? I will consider two paradigms that have attempted to move beyond assuming the nation state as a container, the mobilities and the transnational paradigm. I will argue that neither go far enough, and we need a methodologically de-nationalist approach that brings citizens and migrants together. I will consider some nascent examples of such approaches in scholarship, but also suggest that policy and practice is far more developed than we might think in terms of turning citizens into ‘migrants’. To move beyond a conceptualisation that automatically problematises ‘migrants’ we have to understand how migrants and citizens are inextricably connected in law, theory and everyday life.
About the Speaker
Dr. Bridget Anderson is Professor of Mobilities, Migration and Citizenship in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol. She is also the Director of the Bristol Institute for Mobility and Migration Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law University of Bristol. Professor Anderson has published extensively in the area of migration studies and feminist theory and is at the forefront of helping to develop new politics and theories on human mobility.