Sociology and Criminology

Migration and Integration (Spr)

Module code: L4081B
Level 5
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

Growing numbers of people reside outside their countries of origin, with wide-ranging implications on their lives and their families, their home and host societies. This module will examine key questions and theoretical approaches related to the process of migration, the integration of migrants and their children in their societies of settlement and their ongoing connections to the home communities. These aspects will be addressed in comparative perspective and illustrated with empirical studies from Western Europe and North America. Looking at the experience of documented and undocumented migrants, low-skilled and high-skilled workers, intra-European mobility and lifestyle migration, the aim of the module is to develop an appreciation for the increasing variety and complexity of migration and integration patterns. The module further aims to bring together discussions of migrants' integration at destination and their 'home'-oriented ties and practices evaluating the possibility, benefits and constraints of living in more than one society.

We will begin by looking at the determinants and process of migration, highlighting the role of networks in migration decisions, routes and destinations. We will then turn to the context of reception, first looking at state responses and attempts to control migration, and second, at reactions to newcomers from the local population. After establishing the broader context of migration we will examine patterns of integration of migrants and their children. We will first look at theoretical models and studies focused on how migrants settle and fare in their host society from an economic and socio-cultural perspective. We will then look at more recent, transnationalist approaches that bring migrants' home society into focus and emphasise the continuity of ties with the place of origin. Here we will examine migrants' cross-border practices, activities and identities as well as how migration transforms home communities. We will conclude by asking if integration in the host society and transnational engagement are competing or compatible processes.

Module learning outcomes

  • Recognise and describe different economic, political, and sociocultural dimensions and implications of migration
  • Critically evaluate competing theoretical and methodological perspectives on migration and integration
  • Critically assess the relationship between integration and transnationalism in a variety of migration cases and circumstances
  • Apply relevant theories creatively to specific cases studies from Europe and North America