This course provides a critical examination of the relationship between migration and identity. Beginning with the “transnational turn,” which compelled researchers to reconsider their approaches to a wide range of topics related to migration, including ethnicity (going beyond the “ethnic lens”) and nationalism (moving beyond methodological nationalism), we will explore the various forms of migration and their effects on identity. We will discuss the processes of categorization of “migrants,” “guest workers,” “refugees,” and “expats,” and examine how these categories are constructed by researchers and in politics. We will also consider the implications of these categorizations for agency and power in the context of migration. This will encompass a discussion of issues related to citizenship and the challenges faced by migrants regarding their legal status and access to rights.

We will explore potential tensions between external categorizations and self-identification and, in the process, delve into the question of belonging. This exploration will involve an examination of concepts such as “diaspora,” or “hybridity,” We will adopt a critical approach to identity research, recognizing the limitations of essentialist approaches and emphasizing the need to explore the complexities of identity formation and transformation in the context of migration. Additionally, we will examine the methodological challenges of transnational migration research and stress the importance of reflecting on one's own positionality as a researcher within the process of analysis. We will also delve into the role of power dynamics, biases, and ethical considerations in research both with and on migrants. This examination will encompass the challenges and opportunities of reflexive research and how it can help address the limitations of traditional migration research.

Overall, this course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of migration and identity, equipping them with the skills and tools to engage with these complex and pressing issues in contemporary society.