The Human Face of Global Mobility

Comparative Urban and Community Research

Book 8
Transaction Publishers
Free sample

Alongside flows of trade and capital, the free movement of professionals, technical personnel, and students is seen as a key aspect of globalization. Yet not much detailed empirical research has been completed about the trajectories and experiences of these highly skilled or highly educated international migrants. What little is known about these forms of "global mobility," and the politics that surround them, contrasts with the abundant theories and accounts of other types of international migration--such as low income economic migration from less developed to core countries in the international political economy. Drawing on the work of a long-standing discussion group at the Center for Comparative and Global Research of UCLA's International Institute, this collection bridges conventional methodological divides, bringing together political scientists, sociologists, demographers, and ethnographers. It explores the reality behind assumptions about these new global migration trends. It challenges widely held views about the elite characteristics of these migrants, the costs and consequences of the brain drain said to follow from the migration of skilled workers, the determinants of national policies on high skilled migrants, and the presumed "effortlessness" of professional mobility in an integrating world. The volume also sheds new light on international student migration, the politics of temporary, non-immigrant workers in the United States, new international forms of regulating movement, and the realities of the everyday lives of multinational employees in the world's transnational cities. Key differences between the regional contexts of this migration in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific are also emphasized. Michael Peter Smith is professor of community studies at the University of California, Davis. He has published extensively on urban theory, globalization, and transnationalism including Transnationalism from Below and City and Nation (both available through Transaction) and Transnational Urbanism. Adrian Favell is associate professor of sociology at UCLA. He is the author of Philosophies of Integration, and has published widely on migration in Europe, citizenship, the integration of immigrants, and on social theory.
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Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Pages
314
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ISBN
9781412825634
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Labor
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
Social Science / Sociology / Rural
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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This content is DRM protected.
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Cities are key sites of the transnational ties that increasingly connect people, places, and projects across the globe. They provide opportunities and constraints within which transnational actors and networks operate and nodes linking wider social formations traverse national borders. This book brings together a series of richly textured ethnographic studies that suggest new ways to situate and historicize transnationalism, identify new pathways to transnational urbanism, and map the contours of translocal, interregional, and diasporic connections not previously studied. The transnational ties treated in this book truly span the globe, giving concrete meaning to the phrase "globalization from below." How have the contributors to this book conceptualized the wider context informing the conduct of their ethnographically grounded, multi-sited research on the relationship between cities, migration, and transnationalism? Several interrelated contextual dimensions have been singled out as affecting the opportunities and constraints experienced by transnational migrant subjects. Socio-spatially, in several of these chapters, the political economic context now called neoliberal globalization is shown to be a key driving force creating conditions that necessitate, facilitate, or impede migration, foster trans-local economic ties, and create new inter-regional interdependencies--e.g., new South-South and East-East transnational ties. The changing historical context of both migrating groups and the cities and regions they move across are central to the study of the interplay of urban change and migrant transnationalism. The historical particularities of migrant recruitment, migration histories, migratory narratives, and changing gender and class relations all affect the character and geography of transnational migration with an impact on the social structures of community formation. This is a pioneering effort in the Comparative Urban and Community Research series.
Due to heightened global migration and transnational mobility, many residents of the world’s cities lack national citizenship in the places to which they have moved for work, refuge, or retirement. The disjuncture between citizenship and daily life has led to devolution of claims from national to urban space. Within nation-states characterized by structured inequalities, citizens have not reduced their social differences. This leads increasingly to calls for greater direct involvement of marginalized classes in reshaping the institutions and spaces directly affecting their lives. These concerns—cities without citizenship and people without political power—inform the agendas of organizations that seek to restructure urban citizenship in more democratic directions. Remaking Urban Citizenship focuses on the uses and limits of such political organizations and coalitions, shows the various ways they pursue expanded rights within the city, and describes the institutional changes necessary to empower global migrants and popular classes as urban citizens. Offering individual or comparative case studies of cities in the United States, Europe, and China, contributions to this volume describe the development of actual practices of organizations working to reinvigorate citizenship at the urban scale. Collectively, they locate institutional forms that help migrants lay claim to their cities, show how migrants can become politically empowered, and identify how they can expand their rights or find other ways to belong.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

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