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Privileged Mobilities: Locating the Expatriate in Migration Scholarship

Kunz, S; (2016) Privileged Mobilities: Locating the Expatriate in Migration Scholarship. Geography Compass , 10 (3) pp. 89-101. 10.1111/gec3.12253. Green open access

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Abstract

Migrants who are privileged by citizenship, class or ‘race’ are largely still absent from mainstream migra-tion research and theory; until recently, they were generally assumed to be adaptable and acceptablecosmopolites, positive drivers of cross-border transfers of knowledge and skills. This has been addressedby an emerging scholarship on ‘expatriates’. This article offers a review and critical reading of that litera-ture; it considers the instabilities and ambiguities of the term ‘expatriate’ and situates expatriate migrantswithin the global economy, before examining the gendered nature of expatriation and attending tomigrants’ incorporation in host contexts and expatriate negotiations of identity. The literature suggeststhat at the heart of these processes lie complex configurations of racialisation, gender, class and nationality,often involving problematic reproductions of the colonial past. This article argues that these issues areinherently related to the category’s inconsistencies, rendering it difficult as a ‘category of analysis’.Instead,rather than using the term as a pre-given conceptual frame, it needs to be treated as a ‘category of practice’to be investigated in its own right. Especially as the subject becomes more established in migration studies,scholars need to reckon with the ongoing challenge that lies in studying the identity category ‘expatriate’while resisting reproducing a reified understanding of it.

Type: Article
Title: Privileged Mobilities: Locating the Expatriate in Migration Scholarship
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12253
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12253
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041029
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