Reciprocity materialised: ethnicity and class as empirical questions
Maja Povrzanovic Frykman (Malmö University)
Paper short abstract:
Ethnographic research into the interplay of sociality and materiality can provide a foundation for critically interrogating ideas about migrants’ being and belonging as primarily defined by their ethnic and class background. Insights into material expressions of reciprocity can open up new avenues of understanding and create new conceptual lenses.
Paper long abstract:
Within the vast field of multidisciplinary research on international migration the importance of ethnography is unsurpassed in its ability to reach and represent the individual level of experience and everyday dynamics of sense-making. Ethnographic research into the interplay of sociality and materiality - experiences and memories embodied in and represented by objects - can also provide a solid foundation for critically interrogating ideas about migrants' being and belonging as primarily defined by their ethnic and class background. Ethnographic insights into material expressions of reciprocity, i.e. of migrants' involvement in personal relations and social networks achieved or proved through objects, can open up new avenues of understanding and create new conceptual lenses in studies of migration. This paper links the different contributions to this workshop together by discussing the theoretical benefits of investigating material expressions and practices of connection and belonging in the places where migrants live their everyday lives, in the places they keep returning to and on the journeys between them.
Belonging embodied, reciprocity materialised: migrants' transnational practices