Viorela Ducu's picture
Call for Papers
September 14, 2018 to September 15, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Geography, Oral History, Social Sciences, Sociology

Call for papers - the deadline: 15th of April 2018! Please share!

Inspired by Bauman’s approach on liquid modernity, liquid love and liquid life, Engbersen and Snel (2013) develop the concept of liquid migration for analysing the phenomenon of post-accession east-west migration. This type of migration is strongly motivated by better work or professional development opportunities, but also by the chance to easily return home or change the destination country. The six dimensions of liquid migration are: temporality (circular migration; commuting; very short/medium/long-term stay); labour or professional development (students); legal residential status through EU agreements; unpredictability (moving between countries depending on opportunities or constraints); diffuse family (individualised life strategy with a limited family obligation); intentional unpredictability (migratory habitus are fluid without a fixed migration aspiration and with open options). (Engbersen and Snel, 2013, 33-35). Under this model, the role of family in the life of migrants is diminished, since it is assumed that family relations have lost part of their power in the case of Eastern-European migrants as well. If in the past, migration had its focus in the financial benefit of the family, now it becomes more individualized, only having the self-affirmation of the deprated as an objective. Grandparents used to be involved in childcare while parents were away. Now young migrants postpone their marriage, have very few or no family obligations and give no thought to the financial support of those at home. Bygnes and Bivand Erdal (2017) try to apply the concept within the analysis of the life-strategies of some older migrants and discover that if the migrant categories are not the young persons that Engbersen and Snel (2013) have built their explanatory model upon, the concept of liquid migration becomes limiting and specifically cannot explain the fifth element – family -, older migrants bearing responsibilities towards family members at home or towards people around them, hence they develop strategies towards a way of life that is rather grounded than liquid. Also, the authors consider that within a life story perspective, even the young from the model proposed by Engbersen and Snel (2013) would change their liquid strategies once children appeared within their lives.
The aim of this panel is to debate the way how the concept of liquid migration might be applied within research that focuses on family: What does its explanatory power consist in? What are its limits? Are the lives of EU migrants so liquid indeed? What is the role of children in this? What is the role of the elderly within these families? How are migrant couples formed? What are the strategies of bi-national couples within this so-called liquid migration? We invite researchers to this panel who possess an interest in family and migration and would like them to bring the results of their research into dialogue with the concept of liquid migration. We are also interested in papers that apply the term of liquid migration to an understanding of the family also when it comes to internal migration. We wish the contributions to this panel to create the basis for a published volume to discuss the role of the fifth element – family – within the model of liquid migration. Abstracts of no more than 250 words including authors’ names, titles, emails and institutional affiliations should be sent.
Engbersen, G. and Snel E. 2013. “Liquid Migration: Dynamic and Fluid Patterns of Post-accession Migration Flows.” In Mobility in Transition: Migration Patterns after EU Enlargement, edited by B. Glorius, I. Grabowska-Lusińska, and A. Kuvik. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Susanne Bygnes and Marta Bivand Erdal (2017) Liquid migration, grounded lives: considerations about future mobility and settlement among Polish and Spanish migrants in Norway, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43:1, 102-118, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2016.1211004

Viorela Ducu (, Mihaela Hărăguș, Centre for Population Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania

The panel of  Living in a Liquid Society -5th International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society - 14th – 15th September 2018, Timisoara, Romania

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