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Cosmopolitan Paradoxes Workshop

Date: 29 June 2007 Time: 10.30-16.30

Venue: Institution for Advanced Studies



:: Managing contradiction: Civic stratification and migrant rights in EuropeProfessor Lydia Morris, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

:: The realities of the New Asylum paradigmDr Liza Schuster, Department of Sociology, City University

:: Matters of agency and social transformation for migrant women fromMediterranean countriesDr Eleni Hatzidimitriadou, European Centre for the Study of Migration and Social Care, University of Kent

:: Social capital, agency and pathways to inclusion: The case of Albanian migrant women in GreeceDr Gabriella Lazaridis, Department of Sociology, University of Leicester

Social science literature has discussed the Mediterranean as a 'crossroads of civilisations', a cultural melting pot, a 'buffer zone' between East and West (Herzfeld 2002) and a region that holds the key to the construction of a 'Eurasian' coalition and identity (Delanty 2005: 189-90). No matter how one describes the Mediterranean, at the level of 'social time' (Braudel 1972) the region has repeatedly figured as a 'host' for migrant populations, transient groups such as traders and travellers and, recently, in the aftermath of the wars in the Middle East and the political re-organisation of the former Soviet space, a 'passage' for asylum seekers and refugees. Today, the convergence of international immigration in, and emigration from, the Mediterranean, followed by growth in global flows of labour which bolster cultural heterogeneity and social change, is a central issue for its developing societies. In effect, the movement of populations from disadvantaged regions of the world in search of a better future confronts Mediterranean societies with the complexity of diverse mobilities - of culture, capital, travel and labour, to mention but a few (see also Urry 2000: 1).

Yet, different mobilities are inescapably interdependent: global economies already define the structural role of human beings (as labour, consumers and socio-cultural 'pariahs') and reproduce (often unsound) socio-cultural orders. As a result, global flows of labour and peoples, reminiscent of the late nineteenth-century 'great transformation' (Polanyi 1944) that followed the intensification of global interconnectedness (Held 1999), posit a series of questions concerning the right to mobility (who is allowed to move and stay at the chosen destination?), the hierarchical structure of mobilities (are social inequalities internally differentiated i.e. does gender difference matter?) and ultimately, the preservation of transnational democratic principles (i.e. can we resolve dilemmas inherent in processes of civic stratification in egalitarian and just ways?). This workshop will explore the key issue of migration in relation to Mediterranean and wider European policies on migration as mobility, citizenship and human rights, and the challenges this presents for the fostering of distinctive Mediterranean socio-cultural identities.


The Workshop will be held in the Institute for Advance Studies at Lancaster University on 29 June. The workshop will run from 10:30am to 16:30pm wit a complimentary lunch at 12:30. There are a limited number of places so please book soon to avoid disappointment. The cost will be £30 (£10 for postgraduate student attendance) to include all meeting costs, a meal and tea/coffee. The workshop has been scheduled to allow participants is available at cost on campus.

Please contact Pennie Drinkall if you you would lilke to attend at

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Organising departments and research centres: Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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