Migration & Culture 2006 Course Description
Migration & Culture Spring 2006
Prof Koptiuch Arizona State University
West Phoenix, Arizona
Course Description & Objective
This interdisciplinary course examines im/migration
and culture embedded in a transnational field of social, economic, and
political processes. We follow current approaches in social sciences
that view (im)migration as the effect of a patterned process of
globalization of capital and culture. This process builds objective and
subjective “bridges” that historically link migrants’ homelands to
their “host” societies, both in the U.S. and around the world. Drawing
on empirical research and theoretical analyses, topics we study include:
- how options to migrate are socially constituted, and examine
the recent emergence of “transmigrants” whose lives cut across national
- how both long-standing and recent structural processes and
international connections underlie contemporary migrations:
colonialism, war and military occupation/intervention, development,
globalization of labor recruitment and economic interactions, global
flows of technology, information, media, and culture.
- major cities as strategic sites in the postcolonial global
economy where a multiplicity of migrants, cultures, and identities that
have been deterritorialized from local settings all over the world are
reterritorialized in urban centers.
- how migrants are situated in and navigate through social
processes of migration.
- how migrants negotiate their contradictory experience of
being caught between the nation and the globe, and manipulate their
diasporic identities to adjust to their shifting positioning.
- how migrants resist their devaluation as Other within
nations of settlement, and their subordination within a transnational
capitalist system that increasingly depends on their labor even as this
contribution appears devalued
- discourses about im/migration, by policy makers, citizens,
and migrants in public and popular culture
- local, national, and global immigration debates, with an eye
to how the cultural hybridity of diasporic communities has challenged
native citizens worldwide to re-imagine their own national communities
in this transnational era.
The historical focus of the course
is on migration since the late 20th century (early 1970s), an era of
new migration pressures ushered in by current global restructuring.
Historical precedents provide comparative scope, and aid in identifying
key conditions that make possible shifts in relations between migration
and culture today.
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