Although migration is at a very basic level a phenomenon of spatial mobility, Ayse Caglar argues that the concept of spatiality and consequently, locality, in migration scholarship are undertheorized or better to say, framed in such a way that asking questions about the variation of migrant incorporation and transnationalism beyond the national scale becomes very difficult. This talk adresses the question of locality by focusing on the interface between urban restructuration, cultural diversity and migrant incorporation in the context of neo-liberal globalization. Despite the growing literature on the new role of culture in urban economics, scant attention has been given to the place of migrants in urban dynamics and in the repositioning struggle between cities within and across border. I argue that the structural changes taking place in the cities of migrants’ departure and settlement shape the nature of migrant incorporation and transnationalism, the narratives about migrants’ place in urban development, and the venues of translating cultural diversity into a competitive advantage in scalar politics.
Ayse Caglar, Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna
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