Social relations and migration : a study of post-war migration with particular reference to migration from Bangladesh to Britain

Alam, Fazlul (1995). Social relations and migration : a study of post-war migration with particular reference to migration from Bangladesh to Britain. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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The objective of this thesis is to study the phenomenon of postwar migration both theoretically and empirically with a view to establishing relationships between social relations and migration. Migration is studied here within a conceptual framework of mode of production, relations of production, hegemony, and cash nexus. The historical aspects of migration are acknowledged throughout. The thesis then studies the theories of migration that are available and traces their developments. In this process, the thesis discovers ideology in many migration theories and literature. It selects three specific problematics of the postwar migration, named as 'zonal imbalance', 'mother country' migration, heavy representation of people who form lower SEGs. By examining these three closely, the thesis reveals many erroneous conception and notions about the postwar migration. In this process, the thesis rejects 'individualistic' and 'voluntary' actions in postwar migration. For the empirical part, Bangalee migration from Bangladesh to Britain has been chosen for its typicality and other reasons. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods have been used. Two control groups, one in Britain, (migrants) and another in Bangladesh (non-migrants, who had had the opportunity to migrate at some point in time, but did not) have been studied in as much depth as possible. The findings of the experience of the respondents are offered in relation to the historical evidence, particularly the relations of production in Bangladesh, and migration history of Bangladesh. Despite the basis of a small universe used in this research, international and historical persepectives have always been borne in mind. The objective remained the study of the totality of migration. Having taken the views of those who did not migrate (non-migrants) at a time when 'everyone was going', this research can claim to be a unique way of exploring a sociological phenomenon by negative investigation. The concluding part is in two chapters. In the first, the thesis has attempted to develop four new categories of migration to end the debate who can or cannot be called a migrant. It then exposes the myths of migration. Having established that socio-cultural transition migration, which is one of the four categories developed in this chapter, is the major concern of most migration studies, the thesis argues that a subtle process of 'branding' exists in the matters of encouraging migration to a country, whether the country is situated in the 'First World' or in the NICs. In fact, since '90s, the trends in the global population movements have changed so rapidly and radically that all older theories fail to explain the new phenomenon. The thesis argues that in order to understand 'migration', one has to study the changes that have occured in the social relations, emanating from changes in their relations of production. Finally, the thesis asserts that the phenomenon of human migration can possibly be explained within the conceptual framework chosen. It concludes that social relations play a major role in migration and offers a definition towards developing a sociological theory of migration.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: Department of Cultural Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions


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