Biography, Migration and Belonging I
Processes of migration are often accompanied by changing images of oneself, of we-group belongings, and of other groupings on different levels (such as gender, religion, ethnicity, or class). Established images of one’s own belonging to a certain grouping, as well as corresponding stocks of knowledge, everyday-life perspectives, and patterns of action are challenged and re-interpreted in the varying social figurations and biographical constellations encountered during a process of migration. Research on these dynamics of belonging is an important and well-established part of the sociology of migration.
When we are analyzing these transformation processes regarding the individual’s belonging in the context of migration, it is also important to consider the social processes and constellations that lead to interpreting oneself more as an individual or more as a member of certain groups, or in other words: to investigate the role of changes in the “we-I balance” (Elias).
In this session, we invite papers that deal with questions of migration, belonging and changes in “we” and “I” from the perspective of biographical research, which means reconstructing these dynamics in the light of migrants’ complex life trajectories and in their interrelations with family and collective histories and the changing power balances, inequalities and figurations that shape migration processes.