Migration and Diasporas
This panel focuses on the issue of increasing diversity and complexity of migration in Pacific context and attempts to identify theoretical and practical challenges such diversity brings in terms of social inclusion of minority groups. Increasing diversity and complexity of migration and the challenges it brings to both scholars and receiving societies have been widely discussed using concepts such as super-diversity (Vertovec 2007). Nevertheless, whereas super-diversity became a buzz-word across various disciplines in the so-called traditional countries of immigration and especially in European context, the discussion in countries with relatively recent immigration history in Pacific region or Asia, has been considerably limited.
This panel brings together papers that focus on less represented minority groups or migration patterns and aims to further facilitate discussion on the increasing diversity and its implications for social inclusion of minority groups in the Pacific region. Kim and Streich present general trends in migration to Japan from basic data and some case studies to provide an outlook on the scale of diversity that Japan currently faces. Hara takes up the impact of Japan’s legal reform on citizenship on Filipino migration to Japan and investigate the change in motivation for migration from socio-economic one to more diverse reasons. Park addresses with the case of statelessness among children of refugees and asylum seekers the necessity of further change in Japan’s citizenship system to respond to rapidly diversifying society. While using different cases, both Hara and Park address the question of inclusion/exclusion and its consequences. Debnar and Tomonaga discuss how one’s racial background affect significantly individual lived-experiences. Debnar’s paper focuses on the case of white European migrants in Japan and analyzes the role of race, or whiteness, and its intersections with other forms of capital and social identities in the process of integration into the receiving society. Tomonaga, from the point of hosting society, introduces the case of indigenous peoples and Asian migrants in Australia turning their racial background and historical legacy into advantage.
All papers aim to explore the particularities of their case studies which represent often understudied and less represented minority groups. At the same time, the common denominator are considerations of what can analysis of such groups reveal us about the limitations of the existing theoretical frameworks and concepts, and what are the insights for integration/social inclusion policies that can be made for the experience of these groups.