Cohen, Jeffrey H., and Ibrahim Sirkeci. Cultures of Migration: The Global Nature of Contemporary Mobility. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2011. xiv + 165 pages. Paper, $24.95.
Scholars of migration studies have produced an extensive research repertoire that has significantly advanced our understanding of migration and migrants, from definitions to theorems of migration, from categorization to outcomes of migration, and from linear assimilation experiences to varied incorporation strategies of migrants. Until recently, more extensive research had been conducted on issues of migration relating either to the origins or destinations of migrants, with particular emphasis on the social, cultural, economic, and political impacts of migrants on their destinations. More recently, however, a surging interest in framing transnationalism in migration studies has occurred. Cultures of Migration, co-authored by anthropologist Jeffrey H. Cohen and management specialist Ibrahim Sirkeci, is a welcome addition to this body of literature that offers a fresh perspective on immigration studies.
Distinguished from mainstream approaches, Cohen and Sirkeci's Cultures of Migration proposes a new model of migration studies that incorporates the strengths of the humanities and the social sciences in examining migration as a cultural process. The proposed model of "cultures of migration" has its focus on the dynamic "social universe" of migrants and migration outcomes. This "meso-level" model offers the possibility of bridging the existing "micro-level" models built upon examinations of individual decisions in the migration process and the "macro-level" models derived from studies of national outcomes in migration studies.
Cohen and Sirkeci propose the use of "mobility" in place of "migration" as a starting point to universalize all people who move. By de-emphasizing the geographic scaling system of migration, local or international, and the various categorization of...