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David Haines, Professor of Anthropology, George Mason University

Anthropology and Migration Studies: The Policy Trajectory
When Feb 12, 2014
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1102 Woods
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-1420
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This talk is part of the Anthropology of the Immigrant Life Course Speaker Series

About the presentation

There are few subjects that call out as strongly for interdisciplinary efforts as migration.  The complexity of human movements inevitably eludes efforts that fail to consider the full social and individual contexts of migration, that attempt to isolate particular migration events from long historical antecedents, or that neglect the reverberations of migration throughout the lives of migrants and their descendants. As one beginning point for exploring the intersection of anthropology and interdisciplinary migration studies, this talk focuses specifically on policy issues providing, first, a general discussion of the different ways that anthropologists approach migration policy and, second, considering as a case example the development of multicultural policy in South Korea in response to a surge in immigration.

Overall, the discussion suggests that the anthropological role may be less a unitary disciplinary contribution (whether of method, theory, policy, or practice) than an inherent flexibility in seeing the full human, social, cultural, and political dimensions of human mobility from multiple vantage points, analytic domains, and levels and types of governance. This intersection of anthropology, migration, and policy also suggests the hope of healing the anthropological schisms among academic, applied, and practitioner perspectives.

About the speaker

David Haines’s most recent books are Safe Haven? A History of Refugees in America (2010) and Wind over Water: Migration in an East Asian Context (2012, co-edited with Keiko Yamanaka and Shinji Yamashita). He is a professor of anthropology at George Mason University, and will be at the university’s new campus in Korea for the remainder of 2014.

For background on the general issue of anthropology, migration, and policy see the special section on that topic in International Migration 51(2), 2013.

About the series

Immigration is admittedly an interdisciplinary field of study.  Different disciplines bring their own perspective and lens to understand the field and explore public issues.  What is the special contribution of anthropology to this interdisciplinary field?  The Anthropology of the Immigrant Life Course Research Program, in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, invites discussion of the anthropological contributions to the interdisciplinary field of migration studies as they intersect with scholarship and policy.

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