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THEMIS: 'Do as I say, not as I do?': analyzing the potential effects of immigrants' representations of the crisis on migration systems. Insights from a peripheral southern European country

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Duration: 0:14:51 | Added: 20 Jan 2014
Dora Sampaio presents ''Do as I say, not as I do?': analyzing the potential effects of immigrants' representations of the crisis on migration systems' co-authored by Rui Carvalho in Parallel session V(B) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics

The current context of economic crisis is producing multiple challenges, particularly evident in European economies and societies. This has and will continue to influence the reshaping of international migration streams in Europe, both at the countries of origin and destination. These changes can be felt more vividly in those migratory destinations facing major financial constraints and higher unemployment rates, as is the case with most southern European countries, among which Portugal is included. Bearing this in mind, this paper examines how the representations of the crisis may contribute to (re)define the migration pathways of international migrants in Portugal and how they influence the evolution and dynamics of the country's positioning in the European migration systems. Resorting to data from the THEMIS project, a comparative analysis of three immigrant groups (Brazilians, Moroccans and Ukrainians) - drawn mostly from qualitative information obtained from interviews seconded with quantitative data from key questions of a questionnaire - is proposed. The focus will lay on both individual and contextual variables, aiming to verify if analytical dimensions such as the country of origin, the stage of maturation of the migrant system, or individual socio-demographic variables (e.g. gender, age, educational level, socioeconomic status), assume an important role in shaping these immigrants' representations of the crisis, their stated intentions towards future migration movements and also the feedback they transmit to co-nationals in their countries of origin. Preliminary results suggest that the intensity and contours of the immigrants' social and spatial discourses and representations of the crisis appear to differ between immigrant groups. Moreover, these visions do not tend to translate directly into intentions to redefine individual and family migration trajectories nor even into the advice given to co-nationals in their countries of origin, being instead influenced, although to a different extent, by the analytical dimensions previously considered.

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