Theories of Migration and Social Change Nicholas Van Hear


The starting-point in this themed issue of JEMS on theories of migration and social change is to view migration as a process which is an integral part of broader social transformations, but which also has its own internal dynamics and which shapes social transformation in its own right. Migration is linked in complex ways to class, gender, generation, ethnicity and other social cleavages, which are embodied in hierarchies of power and social status, in positions in home and host communities, and in work and domestic relationships*all of which may be transformed in the course of the migratory process. Taking account of migrants’ agency, perceptions and aspirations, the articles in this special issue seek to link micro-level understanding of migration to macro-level trends in development and globalisation, through analysis of the social dynamics of migratory processes. The goal is to develop the means for a systematic explanatory account of migration and its engagement with broader processes of social change.

Van Hear, N. (2010) ‘Theories of Migration and Social Change’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36(10): 1531-1536