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Mobility, inter-transnational migrations and social networks: Empirical and methodological crossed approaches

Hasnia-Sonia Missaoui, Stéphanie Lima et Jérôme Lombard

Contemporary mobility is growingly complex. In response, scholars are renewing their approaches to study the figures of migrants, the forms of territories, both imagined or material (whether they are constructed by institutions or by individuals) and also the modalities of movement (circulation, immigration, return, exodus, transitions,…). No single dimension seems to suffice to express in a convincing way the changing and labile forms of contemporary migrations. Within a growingly globalized world, networks and territories crisscross each other at different levels (Tarrius, Portès, Simon, Faret, Cortès, Urry, Glick-Schiller).

In the last twenty years researchers have observed and analyzed how forms of mobility have been transformed by different processes of connecting through networks (Hily, Berthomière and Mihaylova). The interacting populations, whether they are so by migration or by international mobility (professionals, students, whether they are chosen or forced by the environment), are subject to changes in belongings and imagined identities; they often question the space and territories that they go through. Despites the existing and growingly rigid borders (whether they are geographical, administrative, political or symbolic), actors in/of movement contribute through their mobility to great social change and important re-configuration of space.

The aim of this special issue is to look at international mobility, study inter and trans-national migrations and the networks that allow for them and understand their different temporalities. The intention of this issue is to transcend any approach that only considers actors (to-be-migrants, institutional or political actors, civil society), the localities (sending or receiving localities, spaces of transition), the spaces (neighborhoods, formal and informal camps…) or the modalities of migration as such. On the contrary the aim is to articulate these different dimensions to the extent that inter and transnational mobility of people and their networked nature relentlessly question Nations and States both concerning their borders and their identities.

The aim of this issue is to highlight and decrypt the process of emergence of networks of mobility and international migrations, the emergence or the decline of certain forms of networks (social, family, transnational, clan or community based networks, religious, or linked to the experience of migration or circulation, …) as they are activated through the trajectories of actors in different temporality.

Submitted texts should be of an empirical or methodological nature proposing either diachronic or synchronic studies. The fieldwork may have been conducted either in Northern or Southern societies and may have a local or global level of analysis. Multi-level research will be much appreciated. We welcome research from social sciences (sociology, anthropology, geography, history, political sciences…). Topics articulating mobility and international migrations and social networks may concern topics as:

  • Networks and access to resources for mobility and migration;

  • Networks and expertise transformed by / through mobility;

  • Spatial and temporal changes in networks and mobility;

  • Personal networks in the trajectory of migration;

  • Visualization and graphic or cartographic representation of social networks and migrants.

  • Construction and transcendence of territorial and identity borders.


Abstracts : 31 may 2016

Articles : 31 october 2016


Hasnia-Sonia Missaoui (Maître de Conférences, Sociologie, Université Jean-Jaurès Le Mirail, LISST-Cers)

Stéphanie Lima (Maître de Conférences, Géographie, Université Jean-François Champollion, LISST-Cieu)

Jérôme Lombard (Directeur de Recherche, géographie, IRD, UMR Prodig)

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