Institute for Migration & Ethnic Studies

A Comparative Approach to Family Migration: Interactions, Interchanges, and Flows

By Prof. Eithne Luibhéid (University of Arizona)

18 June 2015

During the workshop 'The Problematisation of Family Migration', organized by Prof. Betty de Hart (Faculty of Law) and Dr. Saskia Bonjour (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences), on June 4-5, 2015, Prof. Eithne Luibhéid (University of Arizona) delivered the keynote speech titled 'A Comparative Approach to Family Migration: Interactions, Interchanges, and Flows'.

Family migration is among the most salient and most controversially debated issues on European migration policy agendas today. ‘The’ migrant family has become the focal point of a wide range of concerns and fears related to national identity, social cohesion, and cultural diversity.

This talk argues for the importance of not beginning with any specific definition of “family” but rather, critically tracking how nation-state immigration laws, policies, practices, and discourses produce changing configurations of what counts as family. It also suggests the necessity of exploring how flows, linkages, and interchanges among differently positioned nation states, grounded in histories of imperialism and capitalism, ensure that national-level family migration policies continually articulate hierarchies of empire, gender, race, class, and sexuality. It concludes that family migration policies must be understood as technologies of power and resistance, which produce not just exclusions but also differentiated inclusions at multiple scales, and affect not just migrants but also citizens and diasporas.

The full speech and discussion can be viewed by clicking on the link further below.

About Eithne Luibhéid

Eithne Luibhéid is professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Pregnant on Arrival: Making the ‘Illegal’ Immigrant (2013) and Entry Denied: Controlling Sexuality at the Border (2002). She has edited a special issue of GLQ on “Queer/Migration” (2008) and co-edited A Global History of Sexuality (2014) and Queer Migration: Sexuality, U.S. Citizenship, and Border Crossings (2005). Her current book project, Queering Regularization, challenges the framing of undocumented migrants as problem subjects and instead, critically examines what it would take to encourage wide scale divestment from the unearned privileges associated with national citizenship status.

For more information on Eithne Luibhéid's research and work, please see the following website.

Published by  IMES