Amit - Chapter 06 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Amit - Chapter 06

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Migration studies have been criticized in recent years for focusing too narrowly on lower-class population movements in search of economic opportunities. This has led to questioning of the relevance of the conceptual framework and theoretical analysis, developed within this scholarship, for research on the movements of more privileged migrants. This chapter argues that class does not refer solely to a group of people who share a certain social and economic position in society. It is also a cultural category that concerns social as well as economic aspects of the livelihoods deemed proper within the middle layers of a society. Through an analysis of life stories related by individuals of two middle-class family networks who have engaged in extensive migratory movements to North America, Europe, and within the Caribbean, the chapter demonstrates how, in a Caribbean context, a middle-class livelihood is closely connected with a colonial European oriented attitude to education, and an associated "cultured," or respectable, lifestyle. For this reason, geographic mobility to places of learning within the Caribbean and abroad, and the maintaining of a lifestyle believed to be consummate with middle-class status, has been an integral aspect of life among migrants of Caribbean middle-class background. The migrant family members' life-story narratives therefore are not merely accounts of movements in time and space, but also foundational stories that seek to assert the rightful place in society that these people wish to establish. This points to the importance of critically examining the ways in which categories employed in migration research may attain particular meaning within the sociocultural contexts in which migration takes place. Introduction Migration studies have been criticized in recent years for focusing too narrowly on lower-class population movements in search of economic opportunities. This has led to questioning of the relevance of the conceptual framework and
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