Nations and Migration

Belonging to a nation is widely seen to be as natural as belonging to a family or a home. This module will explore how such assumptions about national belonging come about by introducing students to a range of theoretical approaches and debates.

You will explore how notions of belonging are socially constructed, how the nation is defined, who belongs and who doesn’t. The module addresses these notions by examining what everyday practices, discourses and representations reveal about the ways people think about, and inhabit, the nation. The module also pays particular attention to nation formation in relation to debates about multiculturalism, diversity and migration and asks: What are the impacts of migration and multiculturalism on definitions of the nation? How is multiculturalism defined and perceived?

Although focus will be on the example of Britain, the issues raised will be of interest to all students concerned with the effects of nationalisms and ideas of belonging and entitlement, which many countries of the contemporary world are presently debating in the context of the 'Age of migration' (Castles and Miller 1998).