Wednesday September 30, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Uni Rokkansenteret (6 etg), Nygårdsgaten 5, 5015 Bergen, Norway
Susanne Wessendorf: Pioneer migrants in a super-diverse context
Urban areas in Europe and beyond have seen significant changes in patterns of immigration, leading to profound diversification. This diversification is characterized by the multiplication of people of different national origins, but also differentiations regarding migration histories, religions, educational backgrounds, legal statuses and socio-economic backgrounds. This ‘diversification of diversity’ is now commonly described as ‘super-diversity’. Despite an increasing number of studies looking at how people live together in such super-diverse contexts, little is known about new patterns of immigration into such contexts. What are the newly emerging countries of origin which add to the diversification of already super-diverse areas? Where do recent migrants from unusual source countries, who cannot draw on already existing migrant or ethnic ‘communities’, find support? And what kinds of social networks do they form? This paper discusses pathways of settlement among recently arrived migrants from non-traditional countries of origin in the London Borough of Hackney. Drawing on earlier migration literature and the notion of ‘pioneer migration’, the paper addresses the challenges of analysing increasingly fragmented migration stories and pathways of settlement in super-diverse contexts.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen: The tension between superdiversity and cultural reproduction
From a bird’s eye perspective, Alna borough in eastern Oslo definitely looks superdiverse. Scores of languages are spoken in its population of 40,000, and its inhabitants come from about as many countries. Yet at the local level, social and cultural reproduction takes place to a great extent at the ethnic or community level. As one of our informants says, ‘I sometimes feel as though I am in Pakistan’. Had it not been for the strong presence of the Norwegian state, the suburb would have resembled the plural societies described in the mid-20th century by Furnivall and Smith, where ethnic groups, like pearls on a necklace, lead parallel lives but meet in the marketplace. How comprehensive is the influence of the state; in what ways does diversity in public affect the private sphere, and what are the main elements in the cultural reproduction of minority groups?
A light lunch will be served.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, UNI Rokkan senteret (6 etg) Nygårdsgaten 5, 5015 Bergen
In the tradition from Hegel we have become accustomed to think of marginalized subjects as a source of critique and moral development. Concerning immigrants we find a similar idea in Giorgio Agamben’s suggestion on taking the paperless migrants as a paradigm for political reform. Considering extensively debated cases in the Norwegian public, such as the case of Nathan, we might ask whether this reforming potential is part of the picture. How should we conceive the relation between our imagined societies, the “human interest”-stories and the political engagement of non-citizens in cases like this? Based on Alfred Schutz’s analysis of different types of social interaction, this question can be explored in principle as a matter of interconnections between different levels of social distance. If we accept that there is a certain continuity in the moral development from ingroups based on face-to-face interaction to imagined nation-state societies, the central problem could be formulated like this: Should we assume that our obligations to all human beings (non-citizens included) comes out of and is an extension of the kind of sympathy experienced in exclusive ingroups?
Johannes Servan is a PhD-student at Department of Philosophy at the University of Bergen (UiB). His thesis “Phenomenology of the citizen” (working title) discusses migration as a phenomenon that brings to the foreground a certain tension in our social imaginaries of universal human rights and nation-state citizenship. More specifically it is concerned with the epistemological relevance of the perspective of foreigners to the parochial biases in our social imaginaries and policy-making of a specific nation-state.
A light lunch will be served.
Tuesday 1. September at 12.00 to 13.30 – UNI Rokkan centre (6 etg), Nygårdsgaten 5, BERGEN
Fargespill (lit. “play of colors”) is a series of musical performances in Norway that have been staged from 2004 to the present. Each performance consists of a sequence of musical and dance numbers performed by children from different minority and immigrant groups, many of whom came to Norway as refugees, together with white Norwegian children. The songs and choreographies represent the home countries of the children who perform, and have included for example music and dance from Somalia, Myanmar (Burma), Rwanda, Kurdistan, and Eritrea, combined together with Norwegian folk music in often elaborate production numbers with colorful costumes and complex musical arrangements. Continue reading
May 26, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm @ UNI Rokkan centre (6 etg), Nygårdsgaten 5, Bergen
In debates on citizenship in Europe, the need for active participation among citizens is increasingly stressed. But do normative ideas of what active citizenship is, reflect people’s lived experiences in present-day Europe? While the low electoral participation of young people is often highlighted as an indication of reduced civic participation, various studies show increased social media use leads to increased political and social debates and mobilization. And while politicians often lament the lack of civil-political engagement among immigrants particularly, many new citizens volunteer, work as activists, take up political causes, or set up associations in both their countries of residence and origin. In Europe’s culturally and religiously diverse societies, citizens have different frameworks for how they act and interact with their close and distant surroundings. The ACT project studies this diversified citizen participation through empirical data collection on (local, national and transnational) active citizenship in neighbourhoods in Oslo and Copenhagen.
Cindy Horst is Research Director and Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Her current research interests include: mobility in conflict; diaspora; humanitarianism; refugee protection; (transnational) civic engagement; and theorizing on social transformation.
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12. May 2015 kl.12.00 – 13.30 @ UNI Rokkansenteret, Bergen (6 etg, Nygårdsgaten 5)
During the last two decades, central inner city areas have constantly become more attractive to the middle class as places for living and leisure. It is especially because of their history and cultural diversity that these urban districts gain ”new” popularity. This development is, among other things, connected to larger processes of economic and societal change, such as globalisation and de-industrialisation, and it is often called gentrification – a process of urban transformation that results in the physical, sociocultural and economic upgrading of city districts. Continue reading
Dear all, here is the IMER Bergen newsletter for January and February 2015. If you want to include something in the next IMER newsletter, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (text should be between 50 and 150 words + title and web links)
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