Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES)
University of Amsterdam
28-29 August 2012, Amsterdam.
Mobility seems to have become the new paradigm for social sciences. Not only for scholars working on immigration, but social sciences in general indicate a tendency to explain social phenomena by referring to different forms of mobility. A few decades ago sedentary was the norm for social scientists; individuals and groups living in stable and static contexts, mobility, in the form of immigration flows was the exception; the phenomenon to explain. Nowadays it seems the other way around. Social scientists perceive the world as constantly moving, dynamic, and changing in a global era. Now sedentary is the exception that needs to be explained. One of the questions for this conference is: is this a useful perspective for social sciences? Is it indeed the case that sedentary static groups in society are an exception or not? Is this indeed a recent phenomenon or can we find similar examples in history? And if our modern society is best characterized by hyper-mobility what are the effects of that and how should we study it? An important topic for the conference will therefore be which types of theories and concepts are analytically effective in studying Mobility?