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Migration Research Group Seminar - Migrants, city making and the value creation processes in a multiscalar perspective: Space and time in migration scholarship

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

In the context of increased visibility of migratory movements, there has been a renewed interest in migration processes, practices and the challenges migration dynamics pose to the taken for granted “groups of solidarity”, and to scholarship aiming to analyse these processes. However, many of the approaches in migration scholarship including the transnational migration, fail to capture these dynamics in light of a multiscalar perspective. Such and endeavor requires a radical rethinking of the spatial and temporal frameworks of migration scholarship, as well as the unit of analysis. Although an increasing number of migration scholars have started to address the spatial frameworks informing migration scholarship and focused on the location of migrants in space, the temporal narratives of migration scholarship have been rather neglected. The temporal frames informing different conceptualizations of migrants, their attachments and relations also situate migrants in time in distinctive ways. In this talk, I suggest that to unravel the spatial and temporal frameworks of migration scholarship including the cultural industries within which migrants are emplaced, we need a multiscalar perspective. In this way, we can situate the revaluing and devaluing of differences within broader dynamics of value creation processes and accumulation of wealth through displacement and dispossession in the city. On the basis of empirical material from Vienna, I argue for the necessity of a multiscalar analysis of these processes, which in turn necessitates an analysis of a historical conjuncture. Deploying concepts of displacement, emplacement, and historical conjuncture in analysing the interplay between migrants and city-making processes might provide us a venue to come up with the challenges of the migration scholarship in 21st century.