The Collection on Migration and the Refugee Crisis is Ready

View the collection here.


At the end of 2014, there were an estimated 19.5 million refugees worldwide. In the recent months, this crisis has been the center of much debate as Syrian refugees enter Europe.  Many of these people are families with children, forced to flee their homes or risk their safety.

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In light of the tragedy of the recent terrorist attacks in both Paris and Beirut, some countries are now enforcing strict background checks on  these Syrian refugees, or shunning them altogether.

To foster an engaging conversation, we have brought together a collection of content freely available across the social sciences, as well as roundtable discussion podcasts from our recent webinar on the issues of refugees and migration – ranging from ethics, family studies, geo-political, humanitarian responses and social problems.

Mobility is “here to stay”

Guest Author: A. M Findlay, Editor, Population, Space and Place

The erection of new barbed wire fences on the Hungary – Serbia frontier, the re-appearance of border guards asking for papers on cross-border trains into Germany, and the heated exchanges between European leaders on the issue of how to respond to the influx to the EU of hundreds of thousands of people in recent weeks are all signals that the contemporary state has not adapted well to the new mobilities of the current era.

In a globalised world, population mobility is multi-causal demanding sensitised policies differentiating economic migrants, international student mobility, refugees with internationally recognised rights, asylum seekers fleeing hostilities and many other kinds of mover. Mobility researchers have long shown that these different categories are interlinked and far from unproblematic, yet recognition of the different drivers of mobility seems scarcely to enter the rhetoric of many state leaders whose political interests lie elsewhere.

Most European politicians, while no doubt well informed by the academic community, have their eye on the large proportion of their electorates who cling to the view of space and place as fixed assets and of boundaries as defendable lines which need to be re-inforced to exclude the ‘other’ from the resources of the state. And as has been the case throughout much of history, most of those who are mobile face powerful resistance from interest groups who feel threatened by the external forces driving change. Unlike in the past, however, those who are mobile have access to new networks empowering them to achieve their ambitions. It is not only the transnational corporations of the 21st century that have overcome the nation state’s ability to harvest taxes from economic flows, but it also the smartphone-holding transnational networks of the world’s mobile populations who have the capacity and flexibility to outwit the lumbering indecision of a weakened system of state governance. Transnational communities now have the capacity to quickly circumvent the outdated barbwire defences of the state, simply moving to other frontiers and new entry routes, and informed minute by minute by transnational community members on both sides of the boundary line about how to re-position themselves.

Cars running in the crossroad

Mobility is “here to stay”. Researchers have long-shown that migration is only a small part of the much wider set of mobilities pervading contemporary society. In virtually every walk of life global mobility has been increasing. For example the search for world class educational credentials has seen an ever rising number of students moving abroad to study. And like so many other mobile people, these educationally-linked moves are seldom permanent in intention. Short-term objectives of studying in another country have been shown to be part of life-mobility aspirations with study in one place being a trampoline to onward or return movement in order to achieve life objectives that have been mapped out against a perceived world of opportunity. In this tweeting internet age, young people from around the world are now informed of the trajectories offered by transnational living. The mobility revolution of the 21st century is here to stay. It is here to stay not only in the sense of many transient movers becoming more settled citizens (Platts-Fowler et al, 2015), but in the sense of mobility culture being an enduring feature of our increasingly diverse, globally inter-connected society (Johnston et al 2015).

There is no sustainable way for states to go back to impermeable closed frontiers and immobile governance structures relying on detention of illegal migrants and repatriation for those that have got beyond the barbed wire frontier. Despite this, detention practices seem to continually be expanding, even although research has shown that it harms people (Lietart et al, 2015) and does not deter irregular migrants (Silverman et al, 2012). Equally, countries like Albania in the 1980s learned that it is impossible to sustain closed borders for any length simply by banning emigration and policing exit points. In 2015 governments of major destination countries may gain legitimacy amongst elements of their electorates by talking tough on immigration and organising media events to publicise the latest enforcement measures to detain illegal migrants, but attempting to hermetically seal frontiers to all human mobility is impractical in the modern state. In neo-liberal economies flows of international students help finance the higher education sector, international tourism is a key part of the economic system and international business travel is central to the functioning of global capitalism. In this context it is not only hypocritical to legislate against human mobilities generated by dire military conflicts and humanitarian crises, but it is also utterly futile. Managed migration policies of course remain an important goal in social democracies seeking to offer good governance, but more important is the need to develop state policies to manage ‘mobility’, with its much more diverse drivers and actors. Attention needs to focus for example on how to develop policies for transnational social protection schemes for mobile families (Faist et al, 2015) and how to persuade long-term residents that population mobility is a healthy part of global systems of exchange. States that succeed will prosper since mobility is here to stay. Those that fail and simply seek to close frontiers and detain illegal migrants will appear in the history books as the King Canutes of our age.


This post has been contributed by Population, Space and Place as a part of our segment on Migration and the current Syrian Refugee Crisis.

Here is our last post on follow-up questions from our round-table discussion. Be on the lookout for more posts to continue the conversation.

Virtual Roundtable Discussion on Migration and the Refugee Crisis

 

At the end of 2014, there were an estimated 19.5 million refugees worldwide. This crisis was drawn once again into sharp light as Syrian refugees flooded Europe in recent months. Many of these people are families with children, forced to flee their homes or risk their safety.

Join us Friday, October 16, 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST for a virtual roundtable discussion on migration and the refugee crisis. Our panel of experts span the social sciences and humanities to examine issues of refugees and migration ranging from ethics, family studies, and geo-political. Register today as seating is limited!

Our Panelists

Immanuel NessDr. Immanuel Ness is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Editor-in-Chief of The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, Ness’ research focuses on labor, urban political economy, migration, imperialism, and social mobilizations, worker insurrections, strikes, solidarity in Global North and Global South.

He is a labor activist who founded the New York Unemployed Committee, Lower East Side Community-Labor Coalition and labor organizer for several unions.

 

Serena ParekhDr. Serena Parekh is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University, where she also holds the position as Director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program. Her primary research interests are in social and political philosophy, feminist theory, continental philosophy, and the philosophy of human rights.

Dr. Parekh has contributed to noted journals such as Hypatia, Philosophy Compass, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy. She is also the Editor of the APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy.

 

Reenee SinghDr. Reenee Singh is a family therapist based in London at the House Partnership. She is also Co-Director at the Tavistock and UEL Family Therapy and Systemic Research Centre as well as Editor of the Journal of Family Therapy.

Singh holds a particular interest in the intersection of therapy, race and culture. She attributes her personal history and cultural context, growing up in India and having lived and worked in Singapore, as an influence her approach to therapy, research, supervision and training.

Next Steps in LGBT: Continuing Awareness

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” —Nathaniel Branden, American Psychologist

National Equality March 2009
Photo credit: Flicker—Kyle Rush

Thank you, readers, for joining us on our month-long LGBT blog take-over. Together we turned a critical eye on the human rights and rhetoric surrounding the LGBT community. Expanding past the common belief that equality is purely a social issue, our guest editors and articles showed relevance in business, education, psychology, bioethics and more. To facilitate the continuation of our thoughts and communal work, we’re setting free more scholarly articles and book chapters focused on awareness as a crucial engine in social change. Take a look at our page to see the latest in research across the social sciences and humanities in awareness.

The engine for social change is a moving target; one that if we’re not reading and engaging with, it can stall out. LGBT Pride Month garnered significant momentum in 2015 and we encourage you to share this page, the blog, your comments, and this content with peers. Keep talking, thinking, and demanding human rights and advocacy because if we learned anything from this month, it’s that LGBT rights affect all of us.

Highlights:

From our top-read blog post, Queering Philosophy—How can queer theory inform and transform the practice of Philosophy?

“The goal then has to be not to establish queer theory as a recognized subfield in philosophy, but to elaborate how the questions and methods of queer thought can more generally inform and transform the practice of philosophy and its standards for knowledge production.” —Annika Thiem, Hypatia

Read more

Business and LGBTQ, LGBTs in the Workplace

“The purpose of this special issue is to take LGBT scholarship to the next stage by gathering new knowledge and extending theory on LGBT individuals in the workplace.” —Canadian Journal of Administrative Science

Read more

The Coming Out Story—YouTube Beauty Guru, Ingrid Nilsen, Comes Out in Emotional Video

“Ingrid’s story is unique in that it had by 900,000 hits in eight hours.” —Kathryn Coble

Read more

The End of Reparative Therapy

50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality
50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality

With the removal of homosexuality as a mental illness in the 1970’s came a change in how therapists treated gay, lesbian, and bisexual patients. Instead of attempting to change a patient’s sexual orientation, experts were told to help them understand it and learn to cope in what was still a very homophobic society.
When mental health professionals changed, however, religious organizations picked up the mantle and started ministries dedicated to “reparative” therapy. Their members—who were sometimes referred to as ex-gays—went through programs that varied from independent bible study to aversion therapy, which involved administering electric shocks every time a patient became aroused by gay pornography.
These groups were very vocal for a few decades and lent their support to efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals; they argued against teaching about sexual orientation in schools, fought the formation of gay-straight alliances, opposed marriage equality, and worked to prevent LGBTQ individuals from adopting children.
Their arguments were all grounded in the idea that sexual orientation could change, that people didn’t have to be gay. Ex-gays were paraded around as success stories—such as in a 1998 ad that insisted men could “pray away the gay.”
And then the truth began to come out. Some leaders of this movement were caught having homosexual affairs, visiting gay bars, or meeting men online. Others stepped forward to admit they were wrong, that they are still gay, and that sexual orientation does not change. In 2013, Exodus International—one of the largest and at one point most powerful, ex-gay ministries—shut its doors.
Now, in the United States at least, it looks like the time of reparative therapy has passed. The courts have held up laws in two states banning the practice for minors. The White House came out against it. And two Democratic Senators recently introduced a resolution condemning it.
But probably the best sign that its days are numbered come in the apologies from those who once sang its praises. Like these words from Exodus’ last president Alan Chambers: “I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change….  I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse.”

Martha Kempner, 2015.
Martha Kempner is co-author with Pepper Schwartz of 50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality published 2015 by Wiley

Understanding Human Sexuality in a Broad Context

Taken from the Introduction to The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, published May 2015, edited by Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin www.encyclopediaofhumansexuality.com

Whelehan - web_resSexuality as an academic, legal, medical, and social subject has become increasingly visible over the past thirty years as attested to by the dramatic increase in the number of courses, scholarly and applied peer-reviewed publications, and other resources on the topic. It has also been an ongoing source of anthropological study since the nineteenth century.

However, recent anthropological interest in sexuality has been heightened as a consequence of globalization, the AIDS pandemic, national and international concerns over issues such as sex education, same sex marriage, transgender issues, and sex work among others.

In response to these widespread concerns and an attendant critical need for understanding human sexuality in a broad context, Wiley-Blackwell has commissioned us to produce an inter-disciplinary three-volume encyclopedia titled The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality (IEHS).  This print and electronic reference work will be an important resource for undergraduate and graduate universities, law schools, medical schools, and public libraries nationally and internationally.  Not only will this encyclopedia cover the essential content areas as do the other widely selling encyclopedias on human sexuality–including human physiology, life-course issues, contraception, and contemporary Euro-American sexuality and ethnic issues– but the Wiley-Blackwell IEHS will contextualize these topics within their socio-cultural milieu and integrate the cross-cultural and global records of other nationalities.

Given the contemporary cultural and academic concerns for cultural diversity in education, we believe that our encyclopedia has the potential to offer new and richer perspectives on human sexual behavior.  No other encyclopedia currently on the market incorporates cultural diversity as a central theme for both the Euro-American and cross-cultural material. In addition, the IEHS’ attention to evolutionary and primatological considerations are attractive to those disciplines that have a biological and evolutionary emphases such as ethology, evolutionary psychology, biology, ecology, medicine, nursing and health among others, providing a deeply historical and bio-cultural lens.

Find out more at www.encyclopediaofhumansexuality.com

Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin

Educating the Next Generation on LGBTQ Rights

120px-TangopenguinDo you remember when you first learned what the word ‘gay’ meant? Maybe you had a classmate with two mothers, maybe you saw it on TV, or maybe you heard it being used as an insult on the playground. It’s possible that your first encounter with the LGBTQ spectrum involved an open-minded and mediated conversation with adults, but it’s also possible that you had to discover it on your own and deduce meaning based on context, even if that context was an insult.

There is a pressing need to educate about the LGBTQ experience, through events and forums like this one, but also throughout childhood. It is our responsibility to teach children tolerance instead of prejudice. But who is responsible for this education? Should it be built into curricula or is it the role of the family and the parents to educate on this topic?

LGBTQ education is an uphill battle because of a lack of resources. And Tango Makes Three, a picture book about same-sex penguins mating and raising a baby (based on a true story of penguins at a zoo), is consistently one of the most banned books in the United States. It joins the ranks of the few books published about the LGBTQ experience for children, most of which are frequently banned in libraries and schools. The lack of accessibility to these teaching resources is hugely detrimental to LGBTQ education.

The importance of LGBTQ education in an open and accepting environment cannot be overstated. How can classrooms and families work together to teach children about the LGBTQ experience? How can we ensure that children—both LGBTQ and not—never have to learn about what ‘gay’ means from an insult on the playground?

Samantha Green, Marketing Manager, Wiley
MA candidate in Children’s Literature, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science


We encourage you to share your thoughts and comments on this post below. If you’re interested on reading scholarly content, made free this month only to support the continuation of conversations surrounding the LGBT Community.

Education and the Classroom

‘No Outsiders’: Moving beyond a discourse of tolerance to challenge heteronormativity in primary schools British Educational Research Journal

The declining significance of homohysteria for male students in three sixth forms in the south of England British Educational Research Journal

Analyzing Talk in a Long-Term Literature Discussion Group: Ways of Operating Within LGBT-Inclusive and Queer Discourses Reading Research Quarterly

“You’re Wearing Kurt’s Necklace!” The Rhetorical Power of Glee in the Literacy Classroom Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

Moving Beyond the Inclusion of LGBT-Themed Literature in English Language Arts Classrooms: Interrogating Heteronormativity and Exploring Intersectionality Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

Culturally Diverse Literature: Enriching Variety in an Era of Common Core State Standards The Reading Teacher

Telling our story: a narrative therapy approach to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with a learning disability identify and strengthen positive self-identity stories British Journal of Learning Disabilities

“So, You Think You Have a History?”: Taking a Q from Lesbian and Gay Studies in Writing Education History History of Education

Special Issue: Lesbian and gay issues in art, design and media education International Journal of Art & Design Education

Queering High School Biology Textbooks Journal of Research in Science Teaching