Comparing Latin American Migration in Different Urban Settings: Theoretical and Epistemological Issues

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:45 PM
Room: 311+312
Distributed Paper
Luis GARZÓN GUILLÉN , Sociology, Universitat Autonòma Barcelona, Spain
This papers offers a epistemological reflection on comparing Latin American migration in different urban settings. We provide a framework of analysis that is at the same time theoretical and epistemological.  Migrants are simultaneously emigrants (thus coming from a certain "society of origin") and immigrants (that are bound by a new set of structurak conditions in the host society). Therefore we examine the characteristics that have to be taken into account when researching Latin American migration in different cities. Among the circunstances that configure the emigrant experience we should take into account the historical evolution of the country of origin, which originates different social spaces (in the sense of Bourdieu) and fields (ibidem.) where the migrant occupied certain positions. We also address what it means to become and immigrant, that is, a person bound certain constraints related to migration law of the host society (requirements of stay and work permits, rules of access to citizenship of the host country) and the features of the urban contexts whrere the migrant settles. Examples of different Latin American migrations in different countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium) will be provided. We conclude the paper with a reflection on the strenghts and weaknesses of current research on Latin American migration in cities.