Call for Papers

03-05 June 2024
Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (MPI MMG), Göttingen, Germany
Call for projects from February 13, 2023
“Interdisciplinary research on the long-term effects of the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic”
Disciplines: Basic, clinical and translational research, health services research, social sciences, child and adolescent psychiatry
Submission date: 31.03.2023

SPECIAL ISSUE PROJECTContested Categories in the Context of MigrationEditors: Ulrike Bialas, Johanna Lukate and Steven Vertovec 


Contested Categories in the Context of Migration

Editors: Ulrike Bialas, Johanna Lukate and Steven Vertovec

Submissions closed. Deadline has passed, and we are no longer accepting submissions
International migration is a particularly fruitful site for examining categories and processes of categorization. On the one hand, states use categories such as age, gender, sexuality, religion, marital status, and nationality to manage migrants’ entry, legal status, and access to resources, making categorization extremely consequential for individual migrants. On the other hand, categories often differ greatly between migrants’ home countries and receiving states in terms of, for example, their historical genesis, bureaucratic documentation, and socio-political relevance. As a result, governments, the public, and other actors involved in migration processes negotiate categories under extremely high stakes, often within unequal and shifting power relations. Migration scholars must thus pay attention to systems of categorization to understand the management of migration and migrants’ own lived experiences, and scholars interested in categorization should recognize migration as a site where existing categories can be seen with rare clarity, and novel and emerging categories can be identified.

In this special issue, we want to highlight this nexus between migration and categorization, with two interconnected goals: to better understand the experience and governance of migration through the categories that shape both, and to better understand the social construction of categories and their fluid, context-dependent nature by examining them in the particularly revealing context of migration. We are especially interested in how individuals make sense of, navigate, and oppose categorization. While more attention has been paid to how categories shape migration policies, research only just begins to explore how those subjected to and placed within particular categories reinforce or resist these categories.

We invite transdisciplinary contributions—based on quantitative or qualitative empirical research, or theoretical in nature—that engage with particular categories or processes of categorization in the context of migration. Topics may include:
  • What is the role of categories and categorization in migration governance?
  • How do meanings of social categories shift during processes of migration?
  • How do migrants navigate categories across origin and destination countries?
  • How do migrants negotiate, resist, and contest categorizations they disagree with?
  • How do the coloniality of knowledge and migrants’ resources affect their ability to articulate other categories?
Please submit abstracts of max. 500 words and a short bio by January 15, 2023 to Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by February 15, 2023 and included in a Special Issue proposal to Ethnic and Racial Studies. Pending approval in March 2023, selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper and to participate in a writing workshop in Göttingen or Berlin, Germany, taking place in summer 2023 and hosted by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. The deadline for invited papers (up to 9,000 words, including references) will be September 15, 2023.

CALL FOR PAPERS | MIGRATION AND INEQUALITIES. In search of answers and solutions
20th IMISCOE Annual Conference 
July 3-6, 2023, Warsaw & online

Migrants’ Lay Perceptions of Economic Inequality, Class, and Social Mobility
Submission deadline for abstracts: 23 November 2022
This panel engages migrants’ own understandings of inequality. Specifically, it considers how migrants make sense of economic inequality, their changing class positionings in the context of migration, as well as their strategies for social mobility. As such, the panel addresses itself to scholars working at the intersection of migration, class, and inequality.

Perceptions of inequality and mobility are interwoven with migration dynamics. They can play a role as drivers for migration and return. Conversely, mobility can affect the perception of inequality. Therefore, we follow Johan Fredrik Rye’s (2019) plea for a systematic analysis of inequality and class in migration studies.

We invite empirical and theoretical contributions that explore migrants’ lay perceptions of economic inequality, class, and social mobility. Themes can include:
  • Aspirations for upward social mobility and perceptions of economic inequality in the home country as drivers for migration
  • Migrants’ perceptions of inequality in the context of Global North – Global South dynamics, circular and return migration, as well as internal migration
  • Perceptions of inequality as drivers or obstacles in migrants’ strategies for upward social mobility in the receiving context
  • Migrants’ transnational subjective class positionings
Please submit an abstract of max. 250 words by 23 November 2022 to:

Notification of acceptance into panel proposal: 28 November 2022
Submission of panel proposal to IMISCOE: 5 December 2022

Panel organizer: Margherita Cusmano, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Panel chair: Dr. Johanna M Lukate, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity more

CALL FOR PAPERS | MIGRATION AND INEQUALITIES. In search of answers and solutions
20th IMISCOE Annual Conference 
July 3-6, 2023, Warsaw & online

Faith in migration: shaping coordinates of space, time and movement
Submission deadline for abstracts: 1 December 2022
Faith fundamentally shapes migration and geography in myriad dynamic ways. People move, wait, and stay in place because of faith; migrants (and non-migrant families) develop and lose faith over time; migrants rely on faith when everything else seems to be shattered. In times of crisis, uncertainty and precarity, faith, religious and spiritual beliefs become vital coping mechanisms in the lives of migrants, and a tool to confront loneliness, cope with adversity, maintain hope, and persevere. Faith in migration can also be a source of tension, conflict, and distrust. For some, faith already played a significant role in their lives prior to migration, while for others, it is the challenges of migration and making a life in a new place that triggers their re-connection with faith. At departure, in transit, and at destination, faith and sites of prayer represent an anchor and sometimes act almost like a ‘surrogate family’. Along the way, faith can be an orientating, unifying or conflictive force as migrants move through and arrive in unfamiliar contexts, find themselves in legally precarious situations, need to find a social network and jobs, and have to endure low-paid, exploitative work. Faith can function as a ‘mobile sanctuary’ (Guzman Garcia, 2020), a place of comfort, and a ‘breathing space’ from the physical and emotional hardships of migrant life. These are only several ways in which faith finds its way into migrant lives.

To open up discussions on the role of faith in migration, we seek contributions that examine these or related themes:
  • Migration trajectories, im/mobility decisions and faith
  • Faith as coping strategy in times of crisis and precarity in migrant life
  • The role of faith among migrants and their non-migrant families
  • Spaces and places of prayer and faith in migration
  • Faith-based support networks
  • Faith in migration as a source of tension, conflict and distrust
  • Faith, transnational care and death
  • Loneliness, adversity, hope and faith
  • Friendship, love and faith in migration
  • Faith and migrant futures
Send your 200 word abstract, email address and affiliation to Dora Sampaio (former research fellow and currently guest at the MPI-MMG) and Aija Lulle by 1st December 2022.

CALL FOR PAPERS | MIGRATION AND INEQUALITIES. In search of answers and solutions
20th IMISCOE Annual Conference 
July 3-6, 2023, Warsaw & online

Middle-aged migrants. Why cares?
Submission deadline for abstracts: 30 November 2022
Unlike youth and older-age migrants, those in the middle of their life courses are rarely studied, less so from the perspectives of inequalities. However, this panel argues middle-aged migrants not only deserve to be studied on their own rights; this group open theoretically and politically relevant avenues which can revitalise our understanding of inequalities on global, national, familial and individual scales. Being middle-aged is a position of significant inequalities: as usually perceived, people are at the peak of their careers, economic wealth and status in societies. However, being a migrant destabilises this perception. Some indeed might be core earners and careers, but middle-aged migrants are also greatly exposed to vulnerabilities and losses. Among those are professional loss, financial shocks, early warnings of chronic health issues, inability to provide care for younger and older extended family members, difficulties in forming friendships, lack of integration measures and even implied political negligence that the middle-aged, unlike young, are not worthy of integration efforts.

In order to push forward the studies of middle-aged migrants, we seek contributions that, among others, examine these or related themes:
  • Integration programmes and measures for middle-aged migrants and refugees
  • Care provided to and received by middle-aged migrants
  • Siblinghood and friendship as support networks for caring middle-aged migrants
  • Financial and economic lives of middle-aged migrants
  • Professional trajectories of middle-aged migrants and refugees
  • Ageing futures of middle-aged migrants and refugees
Send your abstract, email address and affiliation to Aija Lulle and Dora Sampaio (former research fellow and currently guest at the MPI-MMG) 200 words by 30th November, 2022. more











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