|Type of paper:||Book review|
|Categories:||Globalization Immigration Social issue Books|
International Migration and social theory by Karen O'Reilly are a book that majorly draws its focus on different social methods. Karen is a profound Professor at Loughborough University in the U.K., teaching international migration and sociological theory courses. Karen has published various sociology books that include The British on the Costa del sol, Key Concepts in Ethnography, and Ethnographic Methods. International migration and social theory are perfectly organized book, which is easy to understand. The book engages the reader and assists in understanding sociological theories from a different point of view. The book helps to understand the overall concepts in migration studies (O, Reilly & Benson 2016, p15). A book is a tool relevant for both students and lecturers in the field of migration studies. Karen uses clear examples to explain the relationship between migration and social theories. International movement affects millions of people every day across the world. It has, over the years, been a central dynamic in policymaking by the government and also globalization. Karen draws a perfect picture to the eyes of the reader, helping to explain the impacts of social theory on our movements around the world. The book criticizes different types of approaches and creates a new perspective for future uses. The review summarizes the analysis and evaluates the various concepts and theories applied in the book, international migration, and social theory.
Summary of the Content
International migration and social theory focus on migration topics that include the role of women, refugees, lifestyle migration, and labor to explain the different implications caused by movement on a personal, national and global level. The book has drawn attention not only in the field of sociology but also in international relations, human geography, and anthropology. The text defines international migration in terms of politics, minorities, security issues, historical trends, and geographical areas. The book states that migration theories that focus on explaining movement in terms of a rational and conscious choice describe free will by the migrants.
On the other hand, migration theories that explain migration as a source of power through global relations, tend to show that migrants have no choice. The text describes migration systems, and networks theory is more sociological. The theory argues that a clear understanding of migration should be in a broader context, attention is drawn towards the roles played by family, friends play in helping or resisting migrants to settle and maintain their home connection (Bjola & Kornprobst 2018). The book goes forth and explains the globalization and segmented assimilation theories, describing the research conducted toward migration helping to understand integration and migrant settlement. However, the theories explain movement in terms of a one-off move by people to other locations settling indefinitely. In recent days, the book reviews that migration has become more complicated than just a one-time move. The book has also disputed the attempts of merging different migration theories, stating that the merging of the approaches contributes to loss of meaning in the sociological field.
International migration and social theory start by focusing on structuration theory, including other different practice theories explaining how social life is a continuous process following the day-to-day activities. Chapter two illustrates practice theory as an interaction of structure outcome. Practice theory has been explained in simpler terms as the way people view the world. The book applies the use of meta-theory in the case of a practical approach to help understand migration studies. The book has also incorporated different theoretical material to explain migration flow. The book also includes the use of network, structural, and economic theories. The book also explains different migration perspectives that include globalization, transnationalism, and nationalism (Papastergiadis 2018, p35). The aspects, in a way, try to explain migration theoretically, but they also at some point apply methodologically, focusing on different migration process stages. Chapter three, on the other hand, explains migration in-depth, drawing a difference from the ordinary and usual understanding and definition of immigration as the movement from one place to another. The chapter examines the different settlement theories that include ethnicity, assimilation, and acculturation. The book in the section explains how any given approach can contribute to the analysis of case studies done through practice stories.
The book follows to draw substantive research in the field of sociology to illustrate to students in the field of sociology the main themes in migration studies. In chapters four to chapter seven, the theoretical approaches that have been explained in the book include migration system theory, post-colonialism, neoliberal critique, globalization, pull and push theory, mobility, transnationalism, incorporation, and assimilation. The chapters have also covered different mobility types that include permanent moves, temporary moves, circular moves, and those that include minimum agency involvement (Arango 2017, p35). Chapter four of the book has explained in-depth lifestyle migration phenomenon, leisured or privileged individuals, elite and affluent individuals. In chapter four, migration is majorly characterized to be either forced migration, refugee migration, or labor migration. The book, through chapter five, deeply examines labor migration. It illustrates the movement of people from one country to another in seek of better labor or employment opportunities. The type of migration has majorly experienced in developing countries. The chapter has also majorly focused on woman migration, with chapter six focusing on domestic labor migration. Chapter seven in the book specifically shifted its focus in explaining and examining forced migration, using specific examples.
The book, through chapters four to seven, gives coherent stories on migration practices for specially selected migration trends by use of practice theory. A selection of different research combined gives a better understanding to the reader about the illustrated processes. The chapters, therefore, demonstrate how existing studies and theories can impact the structural operations and also identify any other required to improve the study of the day to day life practices. Lifestyle migration in the book has been perfectly illustrated in chapter four, which uses the example from Spain's coastal areas and the British migration field. The primary point noted from the section is that external structures and enabling and constraining. The chapter goes forth to demonstrate how broad-scale changes are explained by different concepts that include mobility, liquid modernity, network society, risk society and globalization, and theories of contemporary society (O, Reilly & Benson 2016, p15). The chapter further explains how some significant broad changes tend to be negotiated when it comes to the internal structure of agents, their practices within a community, rules, norms, expectations, habits, goals, needs, desires, and patterns. Chapter five draws its example of labor migration from the Mexican immigration to the United States. The study has incorporated the use of practice theory in giving the migration stories into Northern America.
The book in chapter six identifies women's role in migration, drawing an example from the labor migration of Filipina's to Hong Kong. The pull and push theoretical frameworks have brought focus on economic inequality between the Philippines and Hong Kong, which could lead to migrants seeking better working conditions in a different country. Women in Hong Kong are ready to hire domestic workers, while Filipina women are ready to leave their countries and families to work as domestic workers. The book demonstrates how different combined studies can help to understand the various complex structuration processes, migrants structure interaction, in practice, and overtime for the hosts and migrants. Chapter seven examines the refugee settlement experiences drawing examples from the United Kingdom. The study in the section is, therefore, an explanation of forced migration and considers how existing work can be revealed through structuration processes (Papastergiadis 2018, p35). The chapter identifies the exclusive role of the enactment of policy and the attention required to be given to migrant's communities of practice. In the case of refugee children, it includes analyzing their day to day life, family and friend's interaction, social worker, and any other support system.
Analysis and Evaluation
Arguably, migration research may acquire coherence through a meta-theoretical practice location. The practice theory relies on different underlying concepts that can be utilized to inform data analysis and collection and also provide a theoretical framework that can assist international migration students in understanding the undertaken work. The practice theory in the book explains practice as a continuous process undertaken in the social life constitution. It does not favor objectivism or subjectivism but instead focuses on helping understand the collaboration of the Meso level and action structure. The different concepts used include external and internal structures, outcomes, and practices (Arango 2017, p35). Active migrants are, however, unpredictable, considering habitus and adaptation of different circumstances, projections, and desires. Practice outcome is determined by the transformation of migrant's social life into the new life, internal and external structures, hopes, and dreams. Practice stories in the book are vital to helping students in revealing the structuration processes that are used in different migration trends. The practice theory being a meta-theoretical framework helps incorporate concepts and methods acquired from various traditions, making it key in the sociology field. In my view, practice theory in chapter two should be applied less rigorously. There are concepts included to think through the different processes but should not be uncritically applied.
The book has categorized migration as a process of settlement and movement. The movement has been illustrated as a pull and pushes theoretical framework, which contributes to a person's decision-making, drawing an explanation as to what reasons pushed them to move from one place and what led them to move to the other place. From a different perspective, it is a macro approach since it explains the various large-scale between the receiving and sending countries and also within the region. The book also presents a different macro approach that looks at the world as one unique system then draws a question seeking to understand how people migrate an overarching system (Wickramasinghe & Wimalaratana 2016, p25). A lot of different early theories focused on male labor migration overlooking affluent, temporary, circular, asylum-seeking, and linear movement. The book has focused on women labor migration, explaining different concepts that encourage immigration across borders. For example, globalization acknowledges broadly, focusing on the various global sweeping developments affected and affecting movement. Another new idea is transnationalism used in different theocratizing processes that occur across the borders. The role of women in migration has drawn focus in the book giving more recognition towards migration perspectives and theories of different movement types, mostly country-to-county migration.
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