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Veronica Kostenko about TRANSMIG Conference in Stockholm

On the 12th of November Veronica Kostenko told the colleagues from the laboratory about the TRANSMIG conference, CEIFO, Stockholm University she has participated in. «TRANSMIG: Transnational Practices in Migration» conference was held in Stockholm in November 4-5.

On the 12th of November Veronica Kostenko told the colleagues from the laboratory about the TRANSMIG conference, CEIFO, Stockholm University she has participated in. «TRANSMIG: Transnational Practices in Migration» conference was held in Stockholm in November 4-5. 
The conference was organized in an unusual way. The papers were sent to the participants beforehand. Every researcher had 5 – 10 minutes for presenting the paper of someone else, not her/his own one. Thus, the scholars focused on the main points without going deep into details. After that the paper was discussed by the rest of the scholars for 25 minutes and the author got critics and recommendations. The main aim of the conference was to publish the best papers as a multi-author monograph about transnationalism.
The conference was basically closed for the public and only the scholars involved in the project of monograph publication were invited. But professor Alexandrov contacted the organizer of the conference Erik Ollson, and he allowed Veronica to take part in this conference without a paper as a listener. To begin with, Veronica explained the meaning of the concept of transnationalism. The problem about this term is that it is understood in different ways by various groups of scholars. Some still suppose that transnationalism is synonymic with globalism or means something like immigration in general. Others believe that this term refers to back and forth migration only. Sometimes transnationalism is understood as a pattern of new migration in terms of sophisticated technologies.
Within the framework of this conference transnationalism was perceived by the most scholars as a new virtual space that could have appeared only in contemporary world. It means that relatively low price of air tickets, international calls and internet made it possible for the members of Diasporas to contact their friends and relatives back home. The old Diaspora that was torn off the country of origin is slowly interchanged by a new phenomenon of transnationalism that is still not very well analyzed.
The conference was divided into 3 main sections that were called workshops due to specific character of the discussion. These workshops had the following topics:

  • Materiality, Space and Power: Emerging Perspectives Beyond the National and Ethnic Lens of Migration Studies.
  • State, Policy and Markets in a Transnational World.
  • Kinship, Gender and Generation in Disparate Transnational Spaces

Veronica characterized the major current trends in transnational studies as follows: the studies of the resolved countries such as Yugoslavia and USSR, studies of particular (mostly small and specific) groups of migrants in the countries they arrived to, predominance of masculinity problems in gender studies and studies of employment and self-employment trends of migrants.
Even though there are some significant changes in understanding migration and ethnicity, some “old” questions seem relevant. Nina Glick Schiller, the renowned sociologist and the moderator of the 1st workshop gave a speech about these problems. She has raised the following questions: Who is a migrant and how long does she stay a migrant? What are repercussions of the rapid technological progress for transnational networks? Are the ancestry, heritage and background of a migrant playing a significant role for integration? Why people from developed countries are called expats if they move, not migrants?
She has also brought to notice that there are some intimidating changes in European migration politics and a significant raise of anti-migrant reaction that should be taken into account by the scholars.
For more information about the conference please refer to link.