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Migration - syllabus

Migration - syllabus

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Published by Randall Kuhn
Migration is a fundamental feature of our lives. Indeed, every aspect of our civilization and our self-conception is shaped by the exodus of all humans from our origin as a species in Southern Africa 200,000 years ago. In our own era, the aging of western populations, the rise of new economic powers, and dramatic improvements in human capital have given rise to an era of labor migration unparalleled in magnitude and diversity, though not entirely unique. New technologies have risen to facilitate further migration, enable the transmission of resources and knowledge across borders, and create new transnational patterns of residence and livelihood that challenge our notions of nation, identity, and even the very meaning of the term migrant. To put it simply, migration is the human face of our modern era of globalization, entailing incredible costs, risks and returns for migrants along with important impacts for host societies, sending societies, and the global system. Migration comes in many varieties in terms of destination, permanence, and level of coercion, yet common theoretical, empirical, and policy unite these different forms of mobility. This course offers an holistic view of the migration process from multiple perspectives, at multiple levels of analysis, and on multiple aspects of our world today.
As with globalization more generally, it is difficult to specify the exact meaning
Migration is a fundamental feature of our lives. Indeed, every aspect of our civilization and our self-conception is shaped by the exodus of all humans from our origin as a species in Southern Africa 200,000 years ago. In our own era, the aging of western populations, the rise of new economic powers, and dramatic improvements in human capital have given rise to an era of labor migration unparalleled in magnitude and diversity, though not entirely unique. New technologies have risen to facilitate further migration, enable the transmission of resources and knowledge across borders, and create new transnational patterns of residence and livelihood that challenge our notions of nation, identity, and even the very meaning of the term migrant. To put it simply, migration is the human face of our modern era of globalization, entailing incredible costs, risks and returns for migrants along with important impacts for host societies, sending societies, and the global system. Migration comes in many varieties in terms of destination, permanence, and level of coercion, yet common theoretical, empirical, and policy unite these different forms of mobility. This course offers an holistic view of the migration process from multiple perspectives, at multiple levels of analysis, and on multiple aspects of our world today.
As with globalization more generally, it is difficult to specify the exact meaning

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Published by: Randall Kuhn on Jan 04, 2011
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MIGRATIONINTS 4569
AUTUMN 2010CLASS
TUESDAY 2-5PM, BCH 301
INSTRUCTOR
RANDALL KUHNrkuhn@du.edu / 303.871.2061 / BCH 208D
BLACKBOARD
http://blackboard.du.edu/webapps/blackboard/execute/courseMain?course_id=_160092_1
 
OFFICE HOURS
TUESDAY/THURSDAY 12-2PM OR BY APPT
Objectives and Overview
Migration is a fundamental feature of our lives. Indeed, every aspect of our civilization and ourself-conception is shaped by the exodus of all humans from our origin as a species in SouthernAfrica 200,000 years ago. In our own era, the aging of western populations, the rise of neweconomic powers, and dramatic improvements in human capital have given rise to an era of labormigration unparalleled in magnitude and diversity, though not entirely unique. New technologieshave risen to facilitate further migration, enable the transmission of resources and knowledgeacross borders, and create new transnational patterns of residence and livelihood that challengeour notions of nation, identity, and even the very meaning of the term migrant. To put it simply,migration is the human face of our modern era of globalization, entailing incredible costs, risks andreturns for migrants along with important impacts for host societies, sending societies, and theglobal system. Migration comes in many varieties in terms of destination, permanence, and level ofcoercion, yet common theoretical, empirical, and policy unite these different forms of mobility.This course offers an holistic view of the migration process from multiple perspectives, at multiplelevels of analysis, and on multiple aspects of our world today.As with globalization more generally, it is difficult to specify the exact meaning and impact ofmigration in comparison to that of a targeted program or policy. This course will map out andmodel these pathways as they relate to specific outcomes of interest such as development,environment, security, and identity. Migration also carries a raft of intended and unintendedconsequences, both for good and for ill, that constitute a continuing theme of the course.Furthermore, we often find that the cultural resonance or other perceptions of migration can be asimportant in shaping the world as the actual activities of migrants themselves. Each of these issueswill be explored in weekly lectures and readings. Learning objectives for the course include1) Understand, interpret, and manipulate migration data and key concepts2) Familiarity with major migration systems and what makes them a "system"3) Understanding key theories of migration process at the global, state, community, household,and individual levels and their relevance to migration policy, control, and promotion4) Ability to synthesize actual and potential impacts of migration on migrant, receiving, andsending populations via economic, social and cultural pathways5) Appreciating and applying the critical role of migrant selectivity in driving impacts
 
 2
GradingProblem set (10%):
Because migration is above all a demographic event, we must build upon a basic understanding of quantitative measures of migration. The problem sets will not require priorunderstanding of demographic methods. Problem set will be due October 11 along with yourmigration systems presentation.
Migration Systems Presentation (20%)
: October 11, student teams will lead presentations onspecific migration systems. These will provide an opportunity to explore the determinants andsome impact of migration, to leverage migration statistics, and to explore the meaning of amigration system through your own presentation and through comparison across presentations.Your presentation should last
no more than 15 minutes
with time for questions afterwards. Youshould include an organized, well-prepared presentation including visual aids (audio is welcomeas well, within time constraints).At minimum, your presentation should describe (1) major sending and receiving countries; (2)history of the system including its economic, political , and cultural genesis; (3) current migrantrate and remittance data; (4) prevailing conditions of migration costs, physical movement,legalization, tenure, and naturalization; (5) evidence on the role of the state in emergence,perpetuation, or control; and (6) forces of selectivity including regional, political, cultural,socioeconomic, or biophysical factors. Please limit your discussion of migration impacts, outcomes,or perceptions, which you will cover in your final paper.
Migration Systems Paper (30%):
As a
 
follow-up to your migration systems presentation, you will be asked to write a brief paper exploring one or more impacts of the migration system in thesending and/or receiving countries. These papers should build explicitly on your understanding ofthe migration system itself, including forces of selectivity and the conditions of migration, butmove forward to explore some of the specific impacts raised in the later weeks of the course. Itshould draw on specific theories and pathways of migration impact. The paper should incorporatedata and synthesis of original research from the syllabus, from your own literature searches, andfrom consultation with your professor. Your paper should be about 6-8 pages unless you receiveprior consent to do something longer.By moving from general data analysis and systems overview in weeks 1-5 to a study of impact atthe end of the course, I hope that the preceding assignments will offer a chronicle of your learningexperience and a platform for exploration in future courses or work.
Take home Final Exam (40%):
Because the class is mostly conceptual in nature, it is essential thatyou be tested on your core understanding of migration theory, methods, and empirical literature.You will receive a take-home final examination
at the end of the final class, November 15
. Youwill answer two essay questions (out of a total of four options). Your answers will need to bethoughtful, concise, and informed by the course readings and lectures. The exam must be returned by
Friday November 19, 5pm.
The exam should take about 10 hours of your time.
 
 3
Course Materials
We will use a mix of textbooks and readings available electronically. The books have their meritsand weaknesses, but they are highly complementary to one another and will be helpful additionsto your bookcases. In the schedule I refer to texts by the name of the first author, shown in bold.
Castles
 , Stephen and Mark J. Miller. 2009. 
. 
Fourth Edition
. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Also check out their website: http://www.age-of-migration.com/na/index.asp
Massey
 , Douglas S., Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaouci, Adela Pellegrino and J. EdwardTaylor Massey, D.S. et al. 1998. 
.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fix
 , Michael, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Jeanne Batalova, Aaron Terrazas, Serena Yi-Ying Lin,and Michelle Mittelstadt. 2009.
Washington, DC: MigrationPolicy Institute,
 
Report Commissioned by the BBC World Service
.
If you seek a poetic and thought-provoking break from the realities of academic life, I stronglyurge you to read the following novel:Salih, Tayeb. 1969.
Season of Migration to the North
. New York: NYR Books.Electronic readings are available through direct WWW links from the on-line syllabus(you must  be on the Virtual Private Network), through a standard literature search, or directly from me.
Ifyou bring your thumb drive to the first class I will give you a soft copy of every reading.
 
September 14: Migration History, Significance, and Key Concepts
How do we define a migrant or a migration? What key concepts are required to define a migrantor to classify different forms and modes of migration? What is the shape of migration over humanhistory, including modern times? How and why is migration important today? How doesmigration affect different impacted groups at different levels of analysis? What does it mean to bea migrant in terms of economic, social, and political well-being?Castles, Chapter 1: IntroductionMassey, Chapter 1: New Migration, New TheoriesHessler, Peter. Go West: Scenes from an American Homecoming.
New Yorker,
April, 19, 2010.
The Economist,
17
 
December, 2010. Being Foreign and Greener Grass.

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