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Replacing Fear with Information: Six Essential Books on Migration

The topic of migration has always been explosive.  The debates that revolve around it are often uninformed and driven by fear and inaccuracies. This is where these six essential books come in. 


I came across the books in this selection in the Migration section at the amazing Kinokuniya Bookstore in Dubai. 


Image Source: Wikimedia

Undocumented

In this illuminating work, immigrant rights activist Aviva Chomsky shows how “illegality” and “undocumentedness” are concepts that were created to exclude and exploit. With a focus on US policy, she probes how people, especially Mexican and Central Americans, have been assigned this status—and to what ends. Blending history with human drama, Chomsky explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic, and historical context. The result is a powerful testament of the complex, contradictory, and ever-shifting nature of status in America.

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Exodus

Exodus is an insightful, expert foray into the explosive issue of immigration, from Paul Collier, award-winning economist and author of The Bottom BillionMass international migration is a response to extreme global inequality, and immigration has a profound impact on the way we live. Yet our views - and those of our politicians - remain caught between two extremes: popular hostility to migrants, tinged by xenophobia and racism; and the view of business and liberal elites that 'open doors' are both economically and ethically imperative. With migration set to accelerate, few issues are so urgently in need of dispassionate analysis - and few are more incendiary.Here, world-renowned economist Paul Collier seeks to defuse this explosive subject. Exodus looks at how people from the world's poorest societies struggle to migrate to the rich West: the effects on those left behind and on the host societies, and explores the impulses and thinking that inform Western immigration policy. Migration, he concludes, is a fact, and we urgently need to think clearly about its possibilities and challenges: it is not a question of whether migration is good or bad, but how much is best?'Exodus is an important book and one I have been waiting to read for many years ... [it is] a work that is humane and hard-headed about one of the greatest issues of our times' - David Goodhart, Sunday Times'Paul Collier is one of the world's most thoughtful economists. His books consistently illuminate and provoke. Exodus is no exception' - Economist'Tinged with poignancy ... a humane and sensible voice in a highly toxic debate' - Colin Kidd, GuardianPaul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University and a former director of Development Research at the World Bank. He is the author of, among others, the award-winning The Bottom Billion and The Plundered Planet.

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Just Work?

This book offers a vast range of grassroots perspectives on global migrant labour organising in the twenty-first century. From workers' organisations in South Africa to migrant worker resistance in the Gulf, from forest workers in the Czech Republic to domestic workers' structures in Hong Kong, this book brings together a wealth of lived experiences and hidden struggles for the first time.Highlighting the changing nature of frontline struggles against exploitation, Just Work? shows that migrant workers are finding new and innovative ways of resisting neoliberal immigration measures as they are forced to fight against the precarious nature of jobs from both within and outside of traditional forms of labour organisations. With contributions from scholars and activists from around the world engaged in this resistance, this will be an accessible collection based on grassroots experiences, placed in a political economy framework. The full list of regions explored are: South Africa, Latin America, Philippines, the Gulf Arab States, North America, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Japan, London, Nigeria, New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland.

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Death and the Migrant

Death and the Migrant is a sociological account of transnational dying and care in British cities. It chronicles two decades of the ageing and dying of the UK's cohort of post-war migrants, as well as more recent arrivals. Chapters of oral history and close ethnographic observation, enriched by photographs, take the reader into the submerged worlds of end-of-life care in hospices, hospitals and homes. While honouring singular lives and storytelling, Death and the Migrant explores the social, economic and cultural landscapes that surround the migrant deathbed in the twenty-first century. Here, everyday challenges - the struggle to belong, relieve pain, love well, and maintain dignity and faith - provide a fresh perspective on concerns and debates about the vulnerability of the body, transnationalism, care and hospitality. Blending narrative accounts from dying people and care professionals with insights from philosophy and feminist and critical race scholars, Yasmin Gunaratnam shows how the care of vulnerable strangers tests the substance of a community. From a radical new interpretation of the history of the contemporary hospice movement and its 'total pain' approach, to the charting of the global care chain and the affective and sensual demands of intercultural care, Gunaratnam offers a unique perspective on how migration endows and replenishes national cultures and care. Far from being a marginal concern, Death and the Migrant shows that transnational dying is very much a predicament of our time, raising questions and concerns that are relevant to all of us.

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Human Cargo

A new edition of this seminal book, now with a new introduction by the author on the current crisis How can society cope with the diaspora of the twenty-first century? Is there a difference between `good' asylum seekers and `bad' economic migrants? What happens to those whose applications are turned down? Caroline Moorehead has visited war zones, camps and prisons from Guinea and Afghanistan to Australia and Italy. She has interviewed emigration officials and members of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees while investigating the fates of the millions of people currently displaced from their homes. Human Cargo is both a remarkable exploration into the current crisis and a celebration of the courage of ordinary people.

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Migration, Health and Inequality

Should migrants have the same rights as citizens to health care services? What do we mean by rights and by health? And how do we uphold such rights when diasporic networks provide a diversity of opportunities and constraints for people seeking to maintain or restore their health? Answering these pressing questions, this book highlights recent developments in the areas of migration, human rights and health from a range of countries. Looking at diverse health issues, from HIV to reproductive and maternal health, and a variety of forms of migration, including asylum seeking, labour migration and trafficking, this timely volume exposes the factors that contribute to the vulnerability of different mobile groups as they seek to uphold their wellbeing. Migration, Health and Inequality argues that we need to look beyond host country responses and biomedical frameworks and include both the role of transnational health networks and indigenous, popular or lay ideas about health when trying to understand why many migrants suffer from low levels of health relative to their host population. Offering a broad range of linkages between migrant agency, transnationalism and diaspora mechanisms, this unique collection also looks at the impact of migrant health on the health and rights of those communities that are left behind.

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British-Lebanese author and media entrepreneur. My writing has appeared in The Guardian, GQ and Brownbook amongst other places. Author of Our Man in Beirut (2012) and currently working on a ... Show More