The Turbulence of Migration: Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity

The Turbulence of Migration
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The latter has eroded the capacities of governments to regulate economic and social life; the nation state is dissolving.

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The dynamics of migration, meanwhile, have fundamentally changed. Flows are now much greater in volume, distance and speed. They are multidirectional, complex and turbulent.

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The unprecedented 'mobility of signs and strangers' has rendered boundaries more permeable and identities more fluid. Diasporas are no longer marginal; indeed, society is now 'defined by and composed of multiple clusters of diasporic communities. Cultures which were once 'presumed to be discrete, stable, coherent and unique are now increasingly seen as interconnected, dynamic, fragmented and amorphous. Culturally displaced, their lives are nomadic — an affinity exists between 'placeless capital' and 'homeless subjects'.

Their identities are hybrid or 'creole'. Because they are constantly translating between cultures migrants are aware of the ultimate incommensurability of cultural difference. They are thus uniquely alive to the postmodern condition of heterogeneity and fragmentation.

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Papastergiadis spells out the consequences for multiculturalist policy and theory. In its existing form it 'postulates difference only as the line of separation and as the marker of competition for access to resources. Drawing on Bhaba, Parekh and Mouffe, he argues for a 'truly liberal society' that rejects the multicultural utopia of inter-cultural translation, and instead cherishes the hybridities that emerge from the interplay of differences within the 'third space' of diasporic translation.

In partial opposition to the Enlightenment rationalist appeal to resolve 'us and them' conflicts through the rational understanding of cultural difference, Papastergiadis offers an aestheticized lifestyle politics. His own experience of forming 'fluid clusters' of communal relationships with 'like-minded' artists and writers is proffered as a model for a future liberated society.

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Papastergiadis's intentions are grand: to revolutionize migration theory and to place postcolonial theory at the heart of a new social science of modernity. Just as mechanistic natural science has been surpassed by chaos theory, mechanistic social science should defer to poststructuralism. Papastergiadis proposes that migration flows be viewed through a poststructuralist lens, delighting in the sliding and gliding of signifiers, in displacements of subject positions, and in the ceaseless play of difference in the multicultural bazaar.

The old theories of migration, including the push-pull model and all forms of Marxism, were fixed in a mechanistic cause-effect paradigm and cannot comprehend the current complex and turbulent system. Nation-state-centred theories are defunct; new models must begin from global flows.

The Turbulence of Migration : Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity

Social theory should be recast around issues of fluidity and fixity. Hybridity theorists have had to grapple with this problem and have done so with a revealing degree of agitation. The latitudes of sexuality fester in the earthy connotations of this quote as Gilroy knowingly references the less reputable anxieties at stake. The Latin roots of the word are revealed as referring to the progeny of a tame sow and a wild boar Young Is this old usage relevant to the diversity of cultural hybridities claimed today?

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The Turbulence of Migration: Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity. The Turbulence of Migration: Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity. prev. The Turbulence of Migration: Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity [ Nikos Papastergiadis] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

In the sciences of agriculture and horticulture, hybridity is used with little alarm: the best known hybrid being the mule, a mixture of a horse and donkey, though significantly this is a sterile or non-productive mix. In the world of plants, hybrid combinations are productively made by grafting one plant or fruit to another.

Both Gilroy and Hall have made efforts to distinguish their use of hybridity from its dubious biological precedents. Who wants to return is a good question which we discuss further in chapter Six. Does it disentangle the range of sexual, cultural and economic anxieties race mixture provokes? It is absolutely imperative that the uses and usefulness of hybridity as descriptive term, as political diagnostic and as strategy, be evaluated without recourse to petty common room squabbles.

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That the use of a term can be condemned because of one sort of association or another remains problematic unless the consequences of that association can be demonstrated to have unacceptable consequences. As hybridity appears in several guises, it is important to look at what it achieves, what contexts its use might obscure, and what it leaves aside. As a process with a long pedigree, hybridity evokes all manner of creative engagements in cultural exchange.

Syncretism was the word recruited to describe the formation of new cultural practices in the urban work towns set up near the colonial copper mines. Yet, other modes of developmental syncretism were not so explicitly culturalist. Consider for example the Green Revolution adoption of new seed technologies, ostensibly to feed the Third World, but in reality leading to massive environmental devastation.

This could not so easily be described as cultural hybridity, without deep irony. The same today applies to those with specific commercial interests who are involved in genetic patenting overwriting diversity in the agricultural sector see Visvanathan This idea of easing the pains of the violent destruction of the Aboriginal peoples, was an unforgivable companion to the white Australia policy. As documented in the film Lousy Little Sixpence dir. Interestingly, the analysis of the clash of cultures as adopted by anthropologists, even where critical of colonialism Worsley often took on a culturalist bent, paving the way for concerns less to do with political redress than with the management of colonial relations.

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Community Reviews. Setting up reading intentions help you organise your course reading. Rimi Khan University of Melbourne Verified email at unimelb. Monash University Library. Try again later. Articles Cited by Co-authors.

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