"Migration out of poverty or flight from collective and individual violence? Biographic self-presentations of migrants andrefugees from and in Africa"

Open Lectures Winter 2016/17

  • Date: Jan 19, 2017
  • Time: 14:15 - 16:00
  • Speaker: Gabriele Rosenthal (University of Göttingen)
  • Gabriele Rosenthal is Professor for Qualitative Methodology at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Germany. Major research on the intergenerational impact of the collective and familial history on biographical structures and actional patterns of individuals and family systems. Actual research on migration, ethnicity, collective and armed conflicts and trauma. Teaching qualitative methods, biographical research, family sociology and general sociology. She is the author and editor of numerous books, including The Holocaust in Three Generations (2009), Ethnicity, Belonging and Biography (2009; together with Artur Bogner) and Belonging to Outsiders and Established at the same Time. Self-Images and We-Images of Palestinians in the West Bank and in Israel (in press).
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, Göttingen
  • Room: Library Hall
"Migration out of poverty or flight from collective and individual violence? Biographic self-presentations of migrants andrefugees from and in Africa"

For more details please contact esser(at)mmg.mpg.de.

In my presentation I will discuss different collective and individual constellations (not least familial and family history constellations) that cause people from sub-Saharan countries to leave their homes. I will present their experiences along their migration route (especially experiences at state and political borders), and how they speak about their migration today in their situation as asylum seekers in a European or African country. My aim is to show how divergent these courses are, how little they correspond to the dominant image in western Europe of migration due to poverty, and how the individual self-presentations are nevertheless often influenced by this image or discourse. On the basis of selected examples, I will show which migrants, in which individual and collective constellations, are at first careful to avoid speaking about the true reasons for their departure, and which migrants in which constellations have no problem speaking openly about why they left their country.

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