Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Nordic Journal of Migration Research

The Journal of Nordic Migration Research

Open Access
Online
ISSN
1799-649X
See all formats and pricing




Roots and Routes

Ann-Dorte Christensen1 / Sune Jensen1

Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University, Kroghstraede 5, DK-9220 Aalborg East Denmark1

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Nordic Journal of Migration Research. Volume 1, Issue 3, Pages 146–155, ISSN (Online) 1799-649X, DOI: 10.2478/v10202-011-0013-1, November 2011

Publication History

Published Online:
2011-11-30

Roots and Routes

This article is about transnational migrants, how they construct belonging to ‘new’ places where they have arrived, and how the feelings of belonging to their places of origin change when they go back. The theoretical part of the article outlines the relationship between migration and belonging arguing that there is a dynamic interplay between roots and routes in people's lives. The empirical point of departure is narratives about roots and routes by ethnic minorities settled in Aalborg East, an underprivileged neighbourhood in northern Denmark. One of the main findings is a gap between the national exclusion of transnational migrants marked as ‘strangers’ and border figures of the nation and a relatively high degree of local belonging to the neighbourhood. This is followed by an in-depth empirical analysis inspired by Alfred Schutz's distinction between the stranger and the homecomer. A somewhat paradoxical finding is that it appears to be more difficult for transnational migrants to maintain their roots in the country of origin when they go back than it was to establish new roots in the host country.

Keywords: Belonging; migration; roots and routes; ethnicity; everyday life; intersectionality

  • Anderson, B 1983, Imagined communities. Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism, Verso Editions and NLB, London.

  • Andreassen, R 2005, The mass media's construction of gender, race, sexuality and nationality. An analysis of the Danish news media's communication about visible minorities from 1971-2004, Department of History, University of Toronto.

  • Back, L 1996, New ethnicities and urban culture: racism and multiculture in young lives, UCL Press, London.

  • Bauman, Z 2004, Wasted lives. Modernity and its outcasts, Polity Press, Cambridge.

  • Bech-Jørgensen, B 1994, Når hver dag bliver hverdag, Akademisk forlag, Copenhagen.

  • Beck, U 2002, ‘The cosmopolitan society and its enemies’, Theory, Culture & Society. vol. 19, no. 1-2, pp. 17-44.

  • Beck, U 2006, Cosmopolitan vision, Polity Press Cambridge.

  • Butler, J & Spivak, GC 2007, Who sings the nation-state? Language, politics, belonging, Seagull Books, New York.

  • Castells, M 1998, The information age: economy, society and culture, Vol. II: The Power of Identity, Blackwell, Cambridge.

  • Christensen, A-D 2009, ‘Belonging and unbelonging in an intersectional perspective’, Gender, Technology & Development, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 21-41.

  • Christensen, A-D & Jensen, SQ 2011a, Stemmer fra en bydel - tilhørsforhold og identiteter i Aalborg Øst. Aalborg Universitetsforlag, Aalborg (forthcoming).

  • Christensen, A-D & Jensen, SQ 2011b, ‘Intersektionalitet og kvalitativ samfundsforskning - analyser af identitet, magt og forskellighed’, in Kvalitative udfordringer, eds MH Jacobsen & SQ Jensen, Hans Reitzels Forlag (forthcoming).

  • Deleuze, G & Guattari, F 1987, Thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

  • Dench, G, Gavron, K & Young, M 2006, The new east end. Kinship, race and conflict, Profile Books, London.

  • Elg, C 2005, Set og overset. Unge kvinder med indvandrerbaggrund i Danmark, Akademiet for Migrationsstudier i Danmark, Aalborg University, Aalborg.

  • Emmertsen, RJ, Iversen S & Mortensen P. 2005, ‘Rod i verden’, Passage. Tidsskrift for litteratur og kritik, no. 54, pp. 3-4.

  • Fangen, K 2008, Identitet og praksis. Etnisitet, klasse og kjønn blant somaliere i Norge, Gyldendal norsk forlag, Oslo.

  • Giddens, A 1991, Modernity and self-identity. Self and society in the late modern age, Polity Press, Cambridge.

  • Gilroy, P 1997, ‘Diaspora and the detours of identity’, in Identity and difference, ed. K Woodward, Open University Press, Milton Keynes, pp. 299-346.

  • Glick Schiller, N 2008, ‘Beyond methodological ethnicity: local and transnational pathways of immigrant incorporation’, in Willy Brandt Series of Working Papers in International Migration and Ethnic Relation no. 2, Malmö University, Malmö.

  • Glick Schiller, N & Caglar, A 2009, ‘Towards a comparative theory of locality in migration studies: migrant incorporation and city scale’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 177-202.

  • Gullestad, M 2006, Plausible prejudice: everyday practices and social images of nation, culture and race, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo.

  • Gustafson, P 2001, ‘Roots and routes. Exploring the relationship between place attachment and mobility’, Environment and Behavior, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 667-686.

  • Hall, S 1992, ‘New ethnicities’, in ‘Race’, culture and difference, eds J Donald & A Rattansi, Sage, London, pp. 252-259.

  • Hervik, P 2004, ‘The Danish cultural world of unbridgeable differences’, Ethnos, vol. 69, no. 2, pp. 247-267.

  • Jørgensen, A 2010, ‘The sense of belonging in new urban zones of transition’, Current Sociology, vol. 58, no. 1, pp.3-23.

  • Kofoed, L & Simonsen, K 2010, Den fremmede, byen og nationen - om livet som etnisk minoritet, Roskilde Universitetsforlag, Frederiksberg.

  • Koopmanns, R, Statham P, Giugni M & Passy F 2005, Contested citizenship. Immigration and cultural diversity in Europe, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

  • Levitt, P & Glick Schiller, N 2004, ‘Transnational perspectives on migration: conceptualizing simultaneity’, International Migration Review, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 1002-1039.

  • Lister, R 2006, ‘Regendering and multilayering citizenship’, in Kønsreflektioner - om magt og mangfoldighed. Festskrift til Birte Siim, eds A Borchorst & A-D Christensen, Aalborg Universitetsforlag, Aalborg.

  • Malkki, L 1992, ‘National Geographic: the rooting of people and the territorialization of national identity among scholars and refugees’, Cultural Anthropology, vol. 7, no.1, pp. 24-44.

  • Modood, T, Triandafyllidaou A & Zapata-Barrero R 2006, Multiculturalism, Muslims and citizenship, Routledge, Milton Park.

  • Mørck, Y 2000, ‘Hyphenated Danes: contested fields of gender, generation and ethnicity’, YOUNG: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 2-16.

  • Petersen, M 2010, Mobilitet, barrierer & muligheder. Et studie af unge flygtninges tilhørsforhold og positioner, PhD-afhandling, Institut for Sociologi, Socialt Arbejde og Organisation, Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg

  • Phoenix, A 2006, ‘Interrogating intersectionality: productive ways of theorising multiple positioning’, Kvinder, Køn og Forskning, vol. 6, no. 2-3, pp. 21-30.

  • Phoenix, A 2009, ‘Transforming transnational biographical memories: adult accounts of the "non-normative" serial migrant childhood’, in Ethnicity, belonging and biography, eds G Rosenthal & A Bogner, Lit. Verlag, Berlin, pp. 267-284.

  • Prieur, A 2004, Balansekunstnere. Betydningen av innvandrerbakgrunn i Norge, Pax Forlag A/S, Oslo.

  • Rushdie, S 1995, Shame, Vintage, London.

  • Savage, M, Bagnall, G & Longhurst, B 2005, Globalization & belonging, Sage Publications, Gatedshead.

  • Schierup, C-U 1993, På kulturens slagmark, Sydjysk Universitetsforlag, Esbjerg.

  • Schutz, A 1967/1932, The phenomenology of the social world, Northwestern University Press, Evanston

  • Schutz, A 1976/1964, Collected papers II. Studies in social theory, Martinus Nijhoff, Hague.

  • Sernhede, O 2006, ‘Los Angered: Stadsdelsnationalism och global stamgemenskap’, in Storstadens omvandlingar: Postindustrialism, globalisering och migration. Göteborg och Malmö, eds O Sernhede & T Johansson, Daidalos, Göteborg, pp. 275-299.

  • Simmel, G 1998, ‘Ekskurs om den fremmede’, in Hvordan er samfundet muligt? Udvalgte sociologiske skrifter, Gyldendel, København, pp. 95-103.

  • Skeggs, B 2004, Class, self, culture, Routledge, London.

  • Skjøtt-Larsen, J 2008, ‘Aalborg øst - en social og symbolsk profil’, Sociologisk Arbejdspapir no. 24, Aalborg University, Aalborg.

  • Tilly, C 2002, Stories, identities and political change, Rowman & Littlefield Publ. Inc, Lanham, MD.

  • Urry, J 2007, Mobilities, Polity Press, Cambridge.

  • Vertovec, S 2007, ‘Super-diversity and its implications’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 1024-1054.

  • Wren, K 2001, ‘Cultural racism: something rotten in the state of Denmark’, Social & Cultural Geography, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 141-162.

  • Yuval-Davis, N 2007, ‘Intersectionality, citizenship and contemporary politics of belonging’, Critical Review of International, Social and Political Philosophy, Special Issue, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 561-574.

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Sune Qvotrup Jensen and Ann-Dorte Christensen
City, 2012, Volume 16, Number 1-2, Page 74

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.