Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Michaelmas Term 2018

Organised by the Department of Social Policy and the III

This seminar provides the opportunity for those researching race, ethnicity and migration from across the LSE to share their interests and get peer feedback through presentations and discussion. The seminar series will involve occasional external speakers as well as internal presenters. It brings together both qualitative and quantitative researchers, and those approaching the topics of race, ethnicity and migration from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. It is also intended to provide the opportunity for PhD students with interests in these areas to participate in a community of interest and experience perspectives and approaches from outside their own topic and discipline.  The seminars are open to staff and students from across the LSE. 

All talks are held on Thursdays from 12.15-1.15pm in Tower 2, 9th Floor, Room 9.05 


11 October: Multiple generation mobility among European Turks and non-migrant Turks in Turkey

Dr. Ayse Guveli, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

Intergenerational social mobility is a longstanding research topic and a reoccurring measure for equal opportunities in our societies. High levels of social mobility decrease social inequalities and fuel equal opportunities. Recently, the impact of grandparents’ social class has gained extensive attention among stratification scholars, but research is still rare in international migration literature. Do descendants of migrants benefit from migration in obtaining better occupational status? This research focuses on three to four generation social mobility among Turkish origin Europeans and their non-migrant comparators in Turkey by analysing the original 2000 Families dataset, including about 20,000 adults in Western European countries and Turkey. Our preliminary findings show that migrants were positively selected on social mobility. That is, they were more likely to have different job than their parent before they migrated to Europe compared to those who never left Turkey. We find that social reproduction is stronger among non-migrants in Turkey than those in Europe.

Dr. Ayse Guveli is a Reader in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. Her research focuses on social stratification and mobility, international migration, religion, families and quantitative research methods. Her most important research, the 2000 Families, aims to reveal the persisting impact of migration on migrants and their multigenerational descendants in origin and destination countries.



25 October: The Impact of Immigration on Natives’ Fertility: Evidence from Syrians in Turkey

Dr. Berkay Özcan, Department of Social Policy, LSE

Listen to podcast here 

The discussion on whether immigration can solve the problems of population aging often focus on the fertility of immigrants. Additionally, standard projections often consider the impact of migration on population growth but assume that the natives’ fertility does not change in response to migration. By contrast, we show that the native fertility is affected by immigration. We use the Syrian mass migration to specific Turkish provinces shortly after the 2011 civil war as an exogenous source of variation in exposure to immigration and show that natives’ fertility in the affected provinces increased relative to the provinces that are less affected. Our findings are consistent across fertility measures both at the aggregate and individual levels. We provide further analyses to test four potential mechanisms and to show heterogeneity in the fertility response by population subgroups. We find that the labor market-related factors and social interactions can plausibly explain the increase in natives’ fertility.

Dr. Berkay Ozcan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy. He is a social and economic demographer working at the intersection between family processes (divorce, marriage and fertility) and child and economic outcomes (savings, labour supply and type) to understand social stratification. Much of his work is inherently interdisciplinary, cutting across research in demography, population economics, and sociology.  His published research can be found in internationally prominent journals of all three disciplines, such as Annual Review of Sociology, Proceedings of National Academy of Science (PNAS), Demography, Journal of Human Resources, European Economic Review, among others. 


8 November: Uncertain citizenship: Everyday practices of Bolivian migrants in Chile

Dr. Megan Ryburn, LSE Latin American and Caribbean Centre

Uncertain Citizenship explores how Bolivian migrants to Chile experience citizenship in their daily lives. Intraregional migration is on the rise in Latin America and challenges how citizenship in the region is understood and experienced. In response to this, and drawing on multi-sited ethnographic research, the book develops the idea of transnational spaces of citizenship. It explores how migrants are both included in and excluded from these spaces across borders, considering how these inclusions and exclusions are mediated by migrants’ social identities, such as gender, race, and class. As they navigate movement and migration through these spaces, many individuals occupy a state of uncertain citizenship.

Megan is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSE Latin American and Caribbean Centre. From 2015-2018, she was an LSE Fellow in Human Geography in the Department of Geography and Environment. She obtained her PhD in Geography from Queen Mary University of London and her MPhil in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge. She carried out her BA (Hons) at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Her work has focused on migration and citizenship, and increasingly addresses violence and borders. Megan’s current British Academy project is provisionally entitled ‘Navigating borderlands: Colombian migrant women in Chile and experiences of violence’.


22 November: Racism's Reach

Dr. Coretta Phillips, Department of Social Policy, LSE

This paper sketches an analytical framework to conceptualise the way racial power and socio-economic precarity impacts the everyday lives of young minority ethnic Londoners. Using data from life histories, photo-elicitation and vignettes, it aims to elucidate the pains of racism and economic marginalisation using and extending the notions of measurement (depth, breadth, looseness and tightness) drawn from Crewe’s (2011) conceptualisation of the contemporary pains of imprisonment. While there is no intention to imply a straightforward parallel between systems of penal power and racial power, the commonalities in the feelings evoked and the lives lived are stark in their affect and effect. 


6 December: Migrant Margins: Brutal borders and edge economies

Dr. Suzanne Hall, Department of Sociology, LSE

The ‘migrant margins’ emerges in the intersection of global migration and urban marginalisation. Focusing on livelihoods forged by migrants on four peripheral streets in the edge territories of Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Manchester, I draw on face-to-face surveys with self-employed proprietors. Despite significant variables amongst proprietors, these individuals had all become traders on streets in marginalised parts of UK cities, and I address whether ‘race’ matters more than class for how certain groups become emplaced in the city. Narratives of inequality and racism feature prominently in the proprietors’ accounts of where they settled in the city and what limited forms of work are available in the urban margins. Yet as significant to proprietors’ experiences of trade are repertoires of entrepreneurial agility and cross-cultural exchange. Through the concept of the ‘migrant margins’ I explore the overlap of human capacities and structural discrimination that spans the margins of global and urban space. I combine urban sociological understandings of ‘race’ and inequality with fluid understandings of makeshift city-making that have emerged in post-colonial urban studies. Such combinations encourage connections between the histories and geographies of how people and places become bordered, together with practices of edge economies that are both marginal and transgressive.

Suzanne Hall is an urban ethnographer and has practised as an architect in South Africa. She is Co-director of the Cities Programme and Associate Professor in Sociology at the LSE. Suzi’s research and teaching interests explore intersections of global migration and urban marginalisation in the context of inequality, discrimination and resistance. Her research focuses on the street life of brutal borders, migrant economies and urban multi-culture. The research engages with streets in deprived and culturally diverse parts of UK cities including: the ‘Ordinary Streets’ project based in south London (supported by an LSE Cities Fellowship), and the ‘Super-diverse Streets’ project based in Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Manchester (funded by an ESRC Future Research Leader’s award, ES/L009560/1). Suzi’s recent project on the ‘Migrant Margins’ is based in South Africa, and brings into dialogue urban sociologies of ‘race’ and postcolonial approaches to city-making in urban studies. Suzi is recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize 2017, an LSE Teaching Award, the Robert McKenzie PhD prize, and the Rome Scholarship in Architecture.