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Hamilton Public Lecture Series - Migration: geography, desire and inequality

10 October 2019

Migration is a complex reality that involves a vast array of experiences, patterns, outcomes, imaginations, feelings, aspirations and politics. Too often, however, migration is viewed from the privileged position of nation and citizen where movement is seen as a disruptive force and migrants as a problem in need of management. Mainstream migration studies tends to endorse this view of migration through its persistent focus on nation-states, emphasis on individual rational choice and by obscuring the variety of inequalities that create and are created in migration.

In his Hamilton Public Lecture, Professor Francis L. Collins will address the question of migration, the indirect route he has taken to become a migration researcher and his own discomfort with some of the core claims of the field of migration studies. The presentation will also outline three of the key areas in which Francis has sought to challenge established approaches to researching migration: geography, desire and inequality.

Firstly, Francis will explore how a focus on the geographies of cities, everyday life and the organisation of migration can enhance our understanding of the transformative effects involved in migration, the multiple actors who influence urban change and the significance of migrant lives and stories in understanding how people become part of social life.

Secondly, he turns to the concept of desire, a term that challenges the presumption in much migration research that people move as a result of rational choice, make migration decisions at a single point in time and do so indepedent of other social actors and forces.

Thirdly, Francis will turn to the ways in which transformations in migration policies in Aotearoa/New Zealand are fundamentally altering the character of migration and the experiences of people on the move, leading to complex inequalities, marginalisation and exploitation.

The Hamilton Public Lecture Series introduces our newest professors to the community and gives them a chance to demonstrate how their work is having a real impact on the world around us.

All lectures are free, open to the public and held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Drinks and nibbles are provided from 5:15pm, prior to the lecture beginning at 5:45pm.

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