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White migrations: Exploring Whiteness and Transnationalism
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6560-5957
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The concept of ‘white migration’ could be read as an oxymoron. A migrant is rarely thought of as white and white people tend not to be seen as migrants. Rather, white people’s presence ‘out of place’ is more probably conflicted with the position of a tourist, an expatriate, a mobile professional or, just ‘passing’ as European or North American. This paper provides a theoretical discussion linking transnational migration studies and critical whiteness studies, suggesting that there is a discursive gap between privileged white migrant subjects – experiencing a lack of discrimination (or a positive one) – and non-white (im)migrants – who are defined by discrimination. In this gap, I ask what ‘white capital’ can do for migration and how migration impact on the value of such capital. The theoretical arguments stem from 66 in-depth interviews with Swedish migrant women in the US, Singapore and Spain, showing how the focus on gendered white migration calls for a need to study both oppression and domination – and the intersection between them. In sum, the paper argues that a transnational approach to white migrations could pose new questions and add new knowledge to both (i) transnational migration studies, which have mainly focused on the disadvantages of migration rather than the possible opportunities embedded in white migrations, and to (ii) critical studies of whiteness, which have mainly cantered on single national racial hierarchies, particularly so in the US and the UK.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99846OAI: diva2:658378
Traveling Whiteness: Interchanges in the Study of Whiteness, 18-19 October 2013, University of Turku, Finland
Available from: 2013-10-21 Created: 2013-10-21 Last updated: 2013-10-30

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Lundström, Catrin
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Department of Culture StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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