Migration transnationalism memory a qualitative analysis of on the outskirts by aysun bademsoy
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Migration – Transnationalism – Memory A qualitative analysis of „On the Outskirts“ by Aysun Bademsoy. Dr. Barbara Laubenthal Ruhr-Universität Bochum Barbara.Laubenthal@rub.de. Outline. German migration history and migration research The concept of transnationalism

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Migration transnationalism memory a qualitative analysis of on the outskirts by aysun bademsoy

Migration – Transnationalism – MemoryA qualitative analysis of „On the Outskirts“ by Aysun Bademsoy

Dr. Barbara Laubenthal

Ruhr-Universität Bochum




German migration history and migration research

The concept of transnationalism

„On the outskirts“ – selected scenes

Characteristics of „failed“ transmigrants

Scientific and political implications

Dr barbara laubenthal ruhr universit t bochum barbara laubenthal rub de

Roots of current Turkish population in Germany in recruitment policies of the 1960s

2007: 1.764.041 Turkish citizens in Germany

(26,1 %)

2007: 15,3 million people with a migration background in Germany (19% of total resident population)

Migration research has overwhelmingly focused on integration „problem“ of foreign population

1. German migration history and migration research

2 the concept of transnationalism
2. The concept of transnationalism recruitment policies of the 1960s

  • During the last two decades new political, social, cultural and economic realities have emerged in the context of migration that span across countries of origin and receiving countries  intensified ties between two or more countries

  • The relationship between social and geographical space has significantly changed  new social spaces emerge that span and cross national borders

  • Basch et al. (1993): „We define transnationalism as the processes by which immigrants forge and sustain multi-stranded social relations that link together societies of origin and settlement. We call these processes ‚transnationalism‘ to emphasise that many immigrants today build social fields that cross geographic, cultural and political borders“

Characteristics of transmigrants modern cosmopolitic actors
Characteristics of transmigrants: modern cosmopolitic actors (Pries 2000)

  • „There is a growing number of persons who live dual lives: speaking two languages, having home in two countries, and making a living through continous regular contact across national borders“ (Portes et al. 1999)

  • „These people talked about advantages and disadvantages of both the region of origin and the region of arrival. When asked about their future plans, they said they only made plans for 2 or 3 years, then they would see ‚what God would do with them‘“. The typical transmigrant changed countries 4-5 times during his labour biography“ (Pries 2000).

A new type of migrants failed transmigrants
A new type of migrants: „failed“ transmigrants (Pries 2000)

While the transmigrant in Pries/Portes’ conceptualization easily changes between places, and the return migrant rearrives (and mentally/emotionally really rearrives) at his old home, the failed transmigrant psychologically and emotionally lives in a no man’ s land, but is physically confined to/trapped in a geographical place.

4 characteristics of failed transmigrants
4. Characteristics of „failed“ transmigrants (Pries 2000)

  • The film shows transmigrants, who however do not recurrently physically cross borders. The transmigrants in “On the outskirts” are permanently settled in one place; they live however however in an architectural Provisorium that reflects their lack of real place of belonging

  • The inner world of the failed transmigrants is dominated by powerful transnational spaces of memory that lead to an ambivalence between the “two worlds” and that prevent an emotional and psychological arrival in Turkey

Scientific and political implications
Scientific and political implications (Pries 2000)

  • memory and emotions are central concepts for understanding migration

  • high relevance of (architectural) spaces and places for analysing migration

  • Public debate must acknowledge migration history and its transnational dimension

  • One possible step: double citizenship for migrants who have returned to their country of origin