Introduction: Migration and Unequal Positions in a Transnational Perspective

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Editorial | Open Access

Introduction: Migration and Unequal Positions in a Transnational Perspective


  • Thomas Faist Centre on Migration, Citizenship and Development, Department of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • Joanna J. Fröhlich Centre on Migration, Citizenship and Development, Department of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • Inka Stock Centre on Migration, Citizenship and Development, Department of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • Ingrid Tucci LEST—Institute for Labour Economics and Industrial Sociology, CNRS, Aix Marseille University, France


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Abstract:  How does spatial mobility influence social mobility and vice versa? Often, the ‘objective’ structural positions on the one hand, and the ‘subjective’ definition of social positions on the other hand, are not considered together. Yet this is necessary in order to gauge the consequences of mobility trajectories reaching across borders. This framing editorial asks how we can study the interplay of perceptions of one’s own social position and one’s objective social position to better understand how spatial mobility influences social mobility and vice versa. In short, this means an exploration of the nexus of spatial mobility and social mobility. Exploring that nexus requires attention to objective social positions, subjective social positioning strategies, transnational approaches to the study of social positions and self-positioning, and social boundary theory. Overall, the complexity of the nexus between social and spatial mobilities calls for a multifaceted research approach that covers various levels of analysis. Some of the contributions feature a mixed-methods approach that allows drawing a multifaceted picture of the interrelation between the perceptions of social positions and their structural features.

Keywords:  migration; social inequalities; social mobility; social positioning; social positions; transnational social spaces

Published:   18 February 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v9i1.4031


© Thomas Faist, Joanna J. Fröhlich, Inka Stock. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.