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Societies, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2012), Pages 27-62

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Turbulent Trajectories: African Migrants on Their Way to the European Union
Societies 2012, 2(2), 27-41; doi:10.3390/soc2020027
Received: 15 December 2011 / Revised: 10 April 2012 / Accepted: 12 April 2012 / Published: 17 April 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sub-Saharan African migration towards the European Union (EU) belongs to one of the most stigmatized forms of migration of the 21st century. It is strongly characterized by EU’s restrictive migration policies. As a consequence, migrants who are aspiring to reach the [...] Read more.
Sub-Saharan African migration towards the European Union (EU) belongs to one of the most stigmatized forms of migration of the 21st century. It is strongly characterized by EU’s restrictive migration policies. As a consequence, migrants who are aspiring to reach the EU often undertake fragmented and dangerous journeys to the North. This contribution attempts to gain more empirical insights into these migratory journeys. It is based on a ‘trajectory ethnography’ that combines in-depth interviews with sub-Saharan Africans, who are waiting in Morocco and Turkey to enter the EU, with a longitudinal strategy to follow some of these respondents over longer periods of time. With this longitudinal element I was in particular able to grasp expected steps and unexpected turns in individual migration trajectories. By discussing three main components (the motivation, facilitation and velocity) of journeys, this contribution puts into perspective the unidirectional and often frictionless metaphors of migration—as if migrants move like ‘flows’ and ‘waves’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On the Move: Human Migration Past, Present and Future)

Review

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Open AccessReview Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Understanding Human Migration Patterns and their Utility in Forensic Human Identification Cases
Societies 2012, 2(2), 42-62; doi:10.3390/soc2020042
Received: 2 March 2012 / Revised: 16 June 2012 / Accepted: 18 June 2012 / Published: 19 June 2012
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Abstract
Human migration patterns are of interest to scientists representing many fields. Theories have been posited to explain modern human evolutionary expansion, the diversity of human culture, and the motivational factors underlying an individual or group decision to migrate. Although the research question [...] Read more.
Human migration patterns are of interest to scientists representing many fields. Theories have been posited to explain modern human evolutionary expansion, the diversity of human culture, and the motivational factors underlying an individual or group decision to migrate. Although the research question and subsequent approach may vary between disciplines, one thread is ubiquitous throughout most migration studies: why do humans migrate and what is the result of such an event? While the determination of individual attributes such as age, sex, and ancestry is often integral to migration studies, the positive identification of human remains is usually irrelevant. However, the positive identification of a deceased is paramount to a forensic investigation in which human remains have been recovered and must be identified. What role, if any, might the study of human movement patterns play in the interpretation of evidence associated with unidentified human remains? Due to increasing global mobility in the world's populations, it is not inconceivable that an individual might die far away from his or her home. If positive identification cannot immediately be made, investigators may consider various theories as to how or why a deceased ended up in a particular geographic location. While scientific evidence influences the direction of forensic investigations, qualitative evaluation can be an important component of evidence interpretation. This review explores several modern human migration theories and the methodologies utilized to identify evidence of human migratory movement before addressing the practical application of migration theory to forensic cases requiring the identification of human remains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On the Move: Human Migration Past, Present and Future)

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