International Migration, Social Demotion, and Imagined AdvancementAn Ethnography of Socioglobal Mobility
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This book represents one of the first studies to look at the negative results of migration. Based on an ethnographic study focusing on Albanian migrants in Greece and Italy, the book discusses the reasons people leave their homeland for a "better life" - especially if that does not happen. It finds that imaginaries of the world as a social hierarchy might lie at the root of much of the contemporary international migration.
Contemporary migration involves a dramatic paradox. Although much of what is considered international or transnational migration today transforms people of a wide range of social standings in the emigration countries into laborers at the bottom social and economic ranks of the immigration countries, millions of individuals worldwide seek to migrate internationally. International Migration, Social Demotion, and Imagined Advancement argues that this paradox cannot be explained for as long as common preconceptions about immigrants’ economic betterment thwart even questioning why individuals who are not threatened by famine or war willingly pursue their demotion abroad. Recognizing immigrants’ decline as such, this book proposes viewing contemporary migration as socioglobal mobility. Revolving around an ethnographic study of the Albanian "emigration" in Greece, International Migration, Social Demotion, and Imagined Advancement finds that imaginaries of the world as a social hierarchy might lie at the roots of much of the contemporary international migration. As would-be emigrants perceive different countries in terms of distinct social stations in a global order, they resolve to put up with numerous social and material deprivations in the hope of advancing internationally. Immigrants are typically thought of as aliens in their de facto home societies, however, and that makes genuine advancement all but impossible.
Erind Pajo is Assistant Researcher in Anthropology and Lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.
International Migration as Socioglobal Mobility.- A Preliminary Portrait of the Albanian Emigration.- Ethnography and the Discursive Scape.- Portrait of Lumturi F., High School Teacher, Domestic Cleaner, Kitchen Help, Maid.- Greece Is Better than Albania.- Portrait of Petraq Z., Research Scientist, Plumber’s Aide, Maker of Icon Frames, Champion of Capitalism.- Sufferings of the Soul.- Portrait of Fatmir R., High School Principal, Democrat, Janitor, Maintenance Technician, Contemporary Citizen.- The Economic Disadvantages of Emigration.- Portrait of Llambi S., Math Teacher, Member of~Albania’s Party of Labor, Olive Plucker, Construction Helper, Lottery Peddler, Café Proprietor.- Why Emigrants Do Not Return to Albania.- Portrait of Drita H., Chemical Engineer, Domestic Cleaner, Moviegoer, Balletomane.- The World According to the Emigrants.- Portrait of Ilir, Known As Panajotis, Embassy Child, Ex-Politically Persecuted, Internment Farm Worker, Baker’s Aide, Specialist of Floors, Would-be Rebuilder of the World Trade Center.- The Logic and the Experience of Emigration.- Portrait of Genci K., Student, Waiter.- Socioglobal Articulations and Imaginaries.
One of the first studies to look at the negative results of migration
An ethnographic study focusing on Albanian migrants in Greece and Italy
Discusses the reasons people leave their homeland for a “better life” - especially if that does not happen
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