Sociology

Migration, Identity, and Home

Module code: L4108A
Level 6
30 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

Migration has profound implications on individuals’ life course, social relations, understanding of ‘home’ and sense of belonging. How does migration shape individuals’ aspirations and future plans? How does it transform the life trajectories and self-understanding of privileged movers versus vulnerable ones? What happens to those who return home, or those whose new home abroad is endangered by changing political circumstances, personal matters, or anti-migrant sentiments? How do those whose work involves permanent travelling make sense of their identities? These are some of the questions we explore in this module, tracing the experiences of different types of movers, from travelling professionals to precarious workers, lifestyle and retirement migrants, international students and other mobile youth, European ‘free movers’, ‘onward’ migrants or ‘returnees’. In each context, we pay particular attention to three related aspects: 1) how migrants’ life trajectories unfold (for example, changes and transitions related to education, work, family status, and personal development more generally), 2) how identities are reconfigured post-migration (in relation to nation, class, age, gender or legal status), and 3) how migrants define ‘home’ and settlement. We bring together literature developed within the field of migration studies, youth transitions to ‘adulthood’, and social identities, and seek to uncover the varied privileges and insecurities of cross-border mobility and transnational living.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and critical appreciation of theoretical perspectives and key debates around different forms of migration
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and critical appreciation of key debates around migrant identities
  • Evidence critical awareness of the varied privileges and insecurities that characterise different migrants’ experiences
  • Critically evaluate the impact of migration on individuals’ life trajectories, identities, and understanding of ‘home’
  • Apply relevant theories to specific cases of migration