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Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

MT 2020

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. 

Hidden Versus Revealed Attitudes: A List Experiment on Support for Minorities in Ireland

Hidden Versus Revealed Attitudes: A List Experiment on Support for Minorities in Ireland

Part of the seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Tuesday 6 October 2020, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, Online public event

Speakers: Dr Fran McGinnity (Economic and Social Research Institute) and Dr Mathew Creighton (University College Dublin)

Chair: Lucinda Platt

This presentation reports findings of the first list experiment in Ireland. The experiment compares anonymously expressed attitudes to those expressed more openly, to seek to understand the extent to which people are concealing negative attitudes to minorities in Ireland when interviewed. 

The experiment finds that people’s tendency to hide negative views in Ireland depends on which minority they are asked about. Whereas 66 per cent of people support more Black people coming to Ireland, this drops to 51 per cent when respondents could conceal their attitudes. There was no such concealing of resistance to Muslim immigration, so when comparing anonymously expressed attitudes to immigration of both groups, around half of the sample signal support for this. Concealing or masking was more prevalent among the highly educated (those with a third level degree or higher) and among those under 50. These findings challenge results from standard surveys in Ireland, as it appears that the prevalence of positive attitudes towards some minority groups may be heavily influenced by social desirability bias. 

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration

Ethnic and Racial Harassment in Britain

Ethnic and Racial Harassment in Britain

Part of the seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Tuesday 20 October 2020, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, Online public event

Speaker: Alita Nandi (University of Essex)

Chair: Lucinda Platt

Since the late 1960s, laws to address discrimination and harassment on the basis of ethnicity or race have been enacted. Now more than 50 years later what is the experience of Britain’s ethnic minorities? Using data from Understanding Society, a household panel survey of around 30,000 households in the UK, we provide estimates of the prevalence and persistence of ethnic and racial harassment. Who is at risk, and where?

There is emerging evidence that electoral and political events might change dominant majority attitudes towards out-group members. We also investigate the role of one such politicized event, the 2016 Referendum vote, on the experience and fear of ethnic and racial harassment among ethnic minorities in Britain.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration

Migrant Day Labourers in the US and the Politics of Precarity

Migrant Day Labourers in the US and the Politics of Precarity

Part of the seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Tuesday 10 November 2020, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, Online public event

Speaker: Paul Apostolidis (Department of Government, LSE)

Chair: Lucinda Platt

This project develops a new conception of precarity by juxtaposing Latino migrant day labourers’ commentaries with recent critical theory on widespread forms of precarity. Methodologically, this inquiry opens new research trajectories by grounding political theory in field research among migrant workers and in collaboration with their labour organisations.

Through a method that draws on Freirean popular education, a Latin America-based intellectual current that has profoundly influenced migrant politics in the US, the paper formulates a notion of precarity with two principal features: contradictory experiences of time in everyday work-life and a bivalent social dynamic, such that precarity subjects certain populations to exceptionally harsh forms of domination even as it pervades the employment economy. In response to conditions of precaritisation, day labourers have formed what they call ‘convivial’ communities of mutualism and politicisation at worker centres in US cities, including Seattle and Portland, where this research was conducted. In view of these innovative efforts, the paper argues for a much broader, transnational expansion of urban worker centres to provide the organisational scaffolding needed to promote alternatives to the precaritised economy and culture of work today.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration

Migration Selection?

Migration Selection?

Part of the seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Tuesday 8 December 2020, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, Online public event

Speaker: Renee Reichl Luthra (University of Essex)

Chair: Lucinda Platt

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration

Past Events 2020

Migrant Day Labourers and the Politics of Precarity

Migrant Day Labourers and the Politics of Precarity
Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 25 March 2020, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13


Speaker: Dr Paul Apostolidis (Associate Professorial Lecturer and Deputy Head of Department for Education, Department of Government)

In todays precarious world, working peoples experiences are paradoxically becoming more alike even as their disparities sharpen. This project develops a critique of social precarity by setting Latino day labourers commentaries in dialogue with critical social theory, thereby showing how migrant labour on societys jagged edges relates to encompassing syndromes of precarity as both exception and synecdoche. Subjected to especially harsh treatment as unauthorised migrants, these workers also epitomise struggles that apply throughout the economy. Juxtaposing day labourers accounts of their desperate circumstances, dangerous jobs, and informal job-seeking, gathered through fieldwork in the US Northwest, with theoretical accounts of the forces fuelling precaritisation, I illuminate a schema of precarity defined by temporal contradiction. This “critical-popular” approach, informed by Paulo Freires popular-education theory, elicits resonances and dissonances between day labourers themes and scholars analyses of neoliberal crisis, the postindustrial work ethic, affective and digital labour, the racial governance of public spaces, occupational safety and health hazards, and self-undermining patterns of desire and personal responsibility among precaritised subjects. Day labourers offer language redolent with potential to catalyse social critique among migrant workers. They also clarify the terms of mass-scale opposition to precarity. Such a politics would demand restoration of workers stolen time, engage a fight for the city, challenge the conversion of capital risk into workers bodily vulnerability, and foment the refusal of work. Day labourers convivial politics through self-organised worker centres, furthermore, offers a powerful basis for renewing radical-democratic theory and imagining a key practical innovation: worker centres for all working people.

Dr Paul Apostolidis is the author of The Fight for Time: Migrant Day Laborers and the Politics of Precarity (Oxford University Press 2019), Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers Can Teach America about Democracy (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), and Stations of the Cross: Adorno and Christian Right Radio (Duke University Press, 2000), as well as co-editor of Public Affairs: Politics in the Age of Sex Scandals (Duke University Press, 2004). He serves on the Executive Editorial Board for the journal Political Theory and specializes in integrating empirical field research with migrant workers into political and critical theory. Prior to joining LSE’s Government Department in June 2019 he taught for twenty-two years at Whitman College in Washington State, USA, where he held the T. Paul Chair of Political Science, founded a nationally recognized public impact undergraduate research programme, and directed Whitman’s undergraduate first-year liberal arts programme. Dr. Apostolidis received his Ph.D. and M.A. from Cornell University and his A.B. from Princeton University.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration


Multidimensional disadvantage among children: bringing Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children in England and Wales into focus

Multidimensional disadvantage among children: bringing Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children in England and Wales into focus
Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 4 March 2020, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13

Speakers: Dr Polina Obolenskaya
 (Dr Polina Obolenskaya is a Research Officer at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, CASE)

Chair: Dr Susanne Wessendorf (Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, International Inequalities Institute)

It is well known that Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children in the UK as well as across Europe experience high levels of disadvantage. Yet no national monitoring of their living standards in the UK is taking place. This is because children from Roma, Gypsy and Traveller background are often missing or invisible in the large-scale statistical analyses of children at risk of poverty and deprivation that drive policy development and monitoring. In this paper we argue that population Censuses, and other administrative sources, many of which already record Roma ethnicity, are under-utilised as a source of robust and comparable data, allowing the scale, intensity and multi-dimensionality of the challenges facing Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children to be investigated and tracked. We illustrate this through analysis of secure microdata from the 2011 Census of England and Wales, which included a pre-coded category for ‘Gypsy or Irish Traveller’ for the first time, and to which we add children identified as Roma. Disadvantage in each of four dimensions - housing, household economic activity, education and health - are examined in turn before computing a multiple deprivation count. The conclusions we draw from the analysis is that deprivation among RGT children is genuinely multi-dimensional: the higher risks cannot be explained away by population composition, type of accommodation, or by any single dimension of deprivation.

Polina Obolenskaya is a Researcher at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), LSE. Part of Polina’s research focuses on child poverty and multidimensional disadvantage. More specifically, Polina has been working with colleagues on building up evidence on multidimensional poverty and disadvantage experienced by groups of children and young people in Britain that are currently missing or invisible in existing data, including young carers, children from recent migrant families, and Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children. Polina is currently working on the project “Social Policies and Distributional outcomes in a changing Britain” (SPDO) which focuses on policies, spending and outcomes across a number of policy areas such as healthcare, adult social care, and education as well as the distribution of social and economic inequalities in the UK.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration



Who Needs Experts? The politics and practices of solidarity and volunteer humanitarianism in Greece

Who Needs Experts? The politics and practices of solidarity and volunteer humanitarianism in Greece

Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13

Speaker: Dr Armine Ishkanian (Associate Professor and Academic Lead, AFSEE programme and III Research Committee Member) 

Chair: Dr Susanne Wessendorf (Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, International Inequalities Institute)

Since the 1990s, Greece has been both a transit and destination country for migrants but when 850,000 people entered the country in 2015, the situation was termed a “global humanitarian crisis” and by the early 2016, Greece had become the 3rd largest humanitarian intervention in the world. As international humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies began their operations in Greece, they found themselves working in a crowded humanitarian space that was also populated by domestic NGOs, Greek solidarians, international volunteers, EU agencies (e.g., Frontex) and of course, the Greek government.  In this talk, drawing on research conducted in Greece with Isabel Shutes in 2017-2018, I discuss the civil society responses to the “crisis” and focus on the politics and practices of two informal, non-professionalised sets of actors: Greek solidarians and international volunteers. Both international volunteers and Greek solidarians criticised the interventions by professional humanitarians and the humanitarian system more generally, arguing that it was overly bureaucratic, ineffective, and apolitical in the sense that it ignored, and in some instances reproduced, structural inequalities.  The interventions by solidarians and international volunteers was distinctive from and took place in parallel to the traditional humanitarian system and is representative of a growing global trend of “DIY” aid.  Locating the discussion in critical humanitarian studies and drawing on social action theories, in this talk I address the following questions:  why did international volunteers and solidarians become involved in aiding refugees and how did their motivations and actions change over time? And, given their critiques of NGOs and the humanitarian system more generally, how did their respective approaches differ and in what ways was their presence in the humanitarian spaces of Greece significant? 

Dr Armine Ishkanian is an Associate Professor in Social Policy and the Academic Lead of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity (AFSEE) programme, at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE.  Her research examines how civil society organisations and social movements engage in policy processes and transformative politics in a number of countries including Armenia, Egypt, Greece, the UK, etc.  

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration



Past Events 2019 


Role Playing Racism: History Teaching and the Limits of Experiential Learning
Dr Chana Teeger

Role Playing Racism: History Teaching and the Limits of Experiential Learning
Seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Wednesday 11th December, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13

Speaker: Dr Chana Teeger (Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology)

Chair: Dr Susanne Wessendorf (Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, International Inequalities Institute)

This paper points to the limits of experiential learning when dealing with issues of racism and discrimination. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in a racially diverse South African high school, I document how teachers employed simulations and role playing exercises to teach about apartheid. Teachers argued that these would help build historical empathy. However, not only did the simulations fail to capture the actual costs of being black—or the privileges of being white— during apartheid, but they also reinforced the notion that racial stratification was separate and distinct from students’ current situations. Through the simulations, apartheid was presented as a system that has no legacy. Connections were not drawn between the past system and the present context, which students might recognize as real and familiar. The simulations thus ironically served to delegitimize black students’ claims about ongoing racism at school and in the broader society.

Dr Chana Teeger is an assistant professor in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics. She completed her PhD in Sociology at Harvard University. Prior to joining the LSE, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Johannesburg. Her research broadly examines how individuals make sense of inequality and has appeared in venues such as the American Sociological ReviewSociology of Education, and Social Forces. She is currently working on a book manuscript that documents how the history of apartheid is taught to—and understood by—young South Africans. 

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration


Precarious Refuge: Ethnonationalism and the Politics of Housing Refugees
Dr Romola Sanya

Wednesday 27th November, 1 to 2pm, CBG 11.13

Speaker: Dr Romola Sanyal (Urban Geography, LSE)

Chair: Dr Susanne Wessendorf (Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, International Inequalities Institute)

The idea of refuge is an inherently geographical one- a shelter from danger or distress, a place of protection. It is also imbued with a certain temporality- the expectation that such shelter will be temporary and those who seek it will eventually leave. Such assumptions carry into contemporary approaches and attitudes towards displaced persons. Although encouraged to provide them with a range of rights from shelter to employment, health and education, few countries around the world offer these to displaced persons, especially in countries with limited resources or where citizens themselves are unable to access these basic services. As crises become more protracted, the inability to access appropriate employment, to gain property rights all affect the ability of displaced people to achieve meaningful and dignified futures. Instead they inhabit a precarious present. Restricting access to such rights becomes a way for host states to delineate between citizens and the ‘other’ often using or creating ethnic and national distinctions. In this talk I examine how housing becomes intertwined with ethnonationalism and becomes a means of producing cleavages between stateless people, refugees on the one hand and citizens on the other and how local communities participate and challenge such narratives.

Dr Romola Sanyal is Associate Professor in Urban Geography at the LSE. Her work focuses on forced migration and urbanization. She has worked primarily in the Middle East and South Asia. She has published numerous articles on the topic across different disciplinary journals including Geography, Planning and Sociology. She is the co-editor (with Dr Renu Desai) of Urbanizing Citizenship: Contested Spaces in Indian Cities (Sage 2011) and has a forthcoming co-edited book with Dr Silvia Pasquetti titled Displacement: Global Conversations on Refuge (Manchester University Press). She is currently working on a research project on Humanitarian Urbanism studying the production of urban policy making amongst humanitarian actors. 

Beyond the Borders of the Welfare State: Civil Society Responses to the Migration Crisis in Greece
Dr Isabel Shutes

Wednesday 13th November, 1 to 2pm, FAW 9.05

Speaker: Dr Isabel Shutes (Department of Social Policy, LSE)

Chair: Dr Susanne Wessendorf (Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, International Inequalities Institute)

The presentation draws on research carried out with Armine Ishkanian on civil society responses to the migration crisis in Greece. It forms one of two papers based on this research (the other will be presented in this seminar series in Lent Term).

The paper examines how transnational practices to meet the needs of people on the move emerge in relation to state systems for governing migration and welfare, focusing on the experiences of civil society actors in Greece in the context of the migration crisis. The movement of people across nation-state borders has brought about increasing attention to the transnational dimensions of welfare, including strategies for meeting the needs of people on the move. However, there has been limited attention to the experiences of the different actors engaged in these processes, including civil society. At the same time, approaches to understanding the transnational have tended to focus on activities across the territorial borders of one state and another. The ways in which transnational practices take shape in relation to the nation-state has been underexplored. The paper draws on the findings of interviews with people engaged in different types of civil society organisations and activities in Greece during and since the 2015 period of the migration crisis. Transnational practices to meet the needs of people on the move in this context can be understood as working within the framework of the nation-state as well as attempting to counter that framework in relation to migration and welfare. Concurrently, civil society actions were, in part, experienced as a crisis of the state in failing to address the needs of both mobile and non-mobile populations. 

Isabel Shutes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy at LSE. Her research examines the interactions of migration and social policies; social divisions and inequalities relating to citizenship and immigration status, and the implications for access to and experiences of work, care and social provision. Her research engages with different actors in migration and social policy processes, including state and civil society actors, and different groups of mobile people.

Collective Remittances and Mobilisation against Crime in Mexico
Dr Covadonga Meseguer

More details to follow.

Reconfiguring notions of whiteness among Latin American migrants in London and Madrid
Dr Ana Gutierrez

 20th March, Dr. Ana Gutierrez (University of Oxford, Department of Anthropology)

Listen to podcast here 

In Latin America race plays a fundamental role in the process whereby people position themselves and others within the social pyramid. This is reflected in the fact that those who belong to the elite are white, while the poor and the working class are considered black or indigenous. These racial identifications are intertwined with class identification and the traits that compose one’s social class: dress, language, occupation, education and place of residence. While working with Latin American migrants in London and Madrid, I encountered some vestiges of these ideologies and witnessed the intertwinement that persists between race, race mixture, and class among my informants. Although migrants try to use any hint of whiteness in order to differentiate themselves from other non-white migrants, they find themselves struggling to sustain their middle-class aspirations – deeply influenced by white racial (Eurocentric) attachments and identifications - within precarious lives. Migration presents itself as a paradox that affects not only economic dreams, but previous racial and class identifications. 

Ana Gutierrez specialises in migration, labour, gender, morality and personhood. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics in 2014. She is a departmental lecturer at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at Oxford University and a Visiting Fellow at the Anthropology Department at the LSE. Her doctoral research was an in-depth ethnography of a group of middle-class women from Latin America who exchange care and intimacy for money while working as domestic and sex workers in London. Illuminating the complexities of care work, her research offers a detailed study of women’s lives and working conditions. It considers how their experience of migration and intimate labour is one of rupture that both enables and forces them to gradually reconstitute themselves, in their host cities, as people quite distinct from their “normal” selves back home. 

Identity, Citizenship and Kin Majorities: Crimea and Moldova from the Bottom-Up
Dr Ellie Knott 

6th March, Dr Ellie Knott (LSE Department of Methodology) 

Watch podcast here 

Why are so many Moldovans acquiring Romanian citizenship? How did people in Crimea identify with and engage with Russia before annexation in 2014? This talk brings together these two topics and cases to explore the intersections of identity and citizenship across borders. This talk is situated within the field of kin-state politics and analyses how individuals who are claimed as co-ethnic, such as Russians in Crimea and Romanians/Moldovans in Moldova, understand their identification and engage via citizenship and quasi-citizenship with their respective kin-states, Russia and Romania. In particular, in this talk I examine the empirics of the cases of Crimea and Moldova within a theoretical and methodological discussion to show how and why I study the intersections of the meanings of identification and practices of citizenship. I argue that it is important to move beyond state-centred and institutional understandings of citizenship and towards studying how individuals and communities on the ground engage with kin-states across borders.

Eleanor Knott is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics, UK. She has published in Perspectives on Politics (forthcoming), Journal of Ethnic and Migration StudiesCitizenship Studies and Democratization, among others. She is currently working on a book manuscript comparing kin-state politics from the bottom-up in Crimea and Moldova.


Migration, Mixed Marriages and Children’s Noncitizenship in Sabah, Malaysia
Dr Catherine Allerton

27th February, Dr Catherine Allerton (LSE Department of Anthropology)

In Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the East Malaysian state of Sabah, many children live in families of ‘mixed’ ethnicity, forged through the co-presence in the city of Filipino and Indonesian refugees and migrants. This paper will consider how mixed marriages have particular consequences for children who have been born across borders, in a country where their parents are considered only ‘temporary’ workers. Many mixed ethnicities are unique to Sabah, a product of specific histories of migration to the state. As such, they tend to root children to Sabah as a place, rather than to either parent’s sending context. However, this form of cultural citizenship is often not matched by corresponding legal citizenship, since children of migrants, even if born in Sabah, are excluded from government schooling and healthcare. The paper explores how children’s unique experiences of exclusion and noncitizenship not only reflect specific histories of immigration regulations in Malaysia, but also coexist with wider forms of cultural belonging in Sabah.

Dr Catherine Allerton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Her research is broadly concerned with place-making and family-making in island Southeast Asia. Her current writing projects draw on a year of child-focused ethnographic research in the East Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu, and explore issues of statelessness, noncitizenship, illegality and exclusion/ belonging amongst children of migrants.

‘Ccà semo, here we are. Lives on hold in Lampedusa’
A short film screening and discussion with Dr Michela Franceschelli

6 February, Dr  Michela Franceschelli (Department of Sociology, UCL)

Watch podcast here 

The seminar will involve the screening of the short film documentary – ‘Ccà semo, here we are.  Lives on hold in Lampedusa’, followed by Q&A. This documentary was produced as part of the dissemination of a research study carried out by Michela Franceschelli (Global migration in the Mediterranean Sea and the local lives of Lampedusa), which aimed to explore the effects of global migration on local communities, drawing on an in-depth case study on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The film is directed by the Italian filmmaker Luca Vullo.

Lampedusa - Italy’s most southerly territory at 205 km off the coast of Sicily - is the first port of arrival to Europe for the thousands attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. As the number of incoming migrants has increased throughout the years, the island has turned from a mere tourist destination to a site of increasing public and media attention, with images that reify and broadcast contradictory representations of the local community of islanders. Hence, Lampedusa has been presented through these contradictions, depicted either as the island of hospitality - exemplified by the provision of essential support to migrants and campaigns for their rights - or as a site of hostility which in its context has acquired a specific meaning and has been addressed to specific actors, particularly the ‘absent Italian state’.

Michela Franceschelli is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Sociology at UCL. Her research focuses on the influences of migration, culture and social inequalities on experiences of growing up, transitions to adulthood, identity formation and intergenerational dynamics. Her current work looks at the effects of migration on the life course of EU migrants. She is also interested in mixed-methods and visual methods.  Her monograph ‘Identity and Upbringing in South Asian Muslim Families’ is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Infinite difference, limited recognition: Digital makings of the city of refuge
Prof Myria Georgiou (LSE Department of Media & Communications)

23 January,  Prof Myria Georgiou (LSE Department of Media & Communications)

Watch podcast here 

This presentation examines whether the city can become a city of refuge, that is, one that recognises newcomers’ agency and rights as humans but also as citizens-in-the-making. Drawing from research in Athens, Berlin and London at the aftermath of Europe’s “migration crisis”, the paper shows that cities of refuge emerge as hopeful but fragile urban ethico-political projects. More specifically, the city sometimes offers migrants and refugees recognition as humans and as citizens-in-the-making that the nation denies. Yet, and while recognition becomes possible in the city, it remains contested by the order of neoliberal nationalism. Neoliberal nationalism, as “the spectre over the city”, procreates an urban order (Sennett 1970) of marketized, securitised and surveilled cities that delimit rights and freedom (Kitchin 2016; Spencer 2016). As this order is reaffirmed, but also resisted on the material and digital street (Lane 2018), it becomes apparent that critical struggles for the present and future of cities as spaces of freedom or control unfold on the street and in response to the double requirement for recognition set by the ethos and socio-cultural order of neoliberal nationalism.

Myria Georgiou is Professor of Media and Communications at the Department of Media and Communications, LSE. Her research focuses on media and the city; urban technologies and politics of connection; and the ways in which migration and diaspora are politically, culturally and morally constituted in the context of mediation. She is the author of Diaspora, identity and the media (2006, Hampton Press); Media and the city: Cosmopolitanism and difference (2013, Polity Press); and she is currently working on a book on the life and order of the digital city. 


Past Events 2018

Migrant Margins: Brutal borders and edge economies
Dr Suzanne Hall, Department of Sociology, LSE

6 December, 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.


Racism's Reach
Dr Coretta Phillips, Department of Social Policy, LSE

22 November, 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 (depthbreadthlooseness 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. s here


Uncertain citizenship: Everyday practices of Bolivian migrants in Chile
Dr Megan Ryburn, LSE Latin American and Caribbean Centre

November, Dr. Megan Ryburn, LSE Latin American and Caribbean Centre 8 

Listen to podcast here 

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’.

The Impact of Immigration on Natives’ Fertility: Evidence from Syrians in Turkey
Dr Berkay Özcan, Department of Social Policy, LSE

25 October, 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. 

Multiple generation mobility among European Turks and non-migrant Turks in Turkey
Dr Ayse Guveli, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

11 October, 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.