Presenter:Gracia Liu-Farrer (Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University)
Presentation Theme:Rethinking Migration through Asian Experiences
Spanning across a vast geographic area, Asia sustains nearly two thirds of the world population. In this populous continent, people have never ceased to move across boundaries looking for a better life. Economic globalization, demographic transformations and the expansion of international education and tourism since the 1980s have resulted in more rapid population mobility. The attempts at creating integrated regional communities have further facilitated the movements of people within Asia. People migrate to work, to study, to marry, to retire, to escape insecure environments and to enjoy a different climate and lifestyle.
Extant social theories of migration were mostly borne out of North American and European experiences, and often fall short of explaining patterns and outcomes of population movements in Asia. The specific social organizations, political regimes, economic developments and cultural makeup in Asia mean that new conceptual tools are needed to theorize Asian migrations.
This talk highlights several contemporary phenomena of migration flows within and into Asia as well as emergent mobility trends out of Asia, and outlines areas where Asian migration experiences bring new insights into the field of migration research. It points out that Asian experiences make it imperative to reinvestigate the meanings and logic of migration, to re-center focus on the production of mobility, and reconsider the “integration lens” for examining the outcomes of immigration. Finally, this talk proposes topics that need to engage more extensive research efforts.