The boundaries of interdisciplinary fields : temporalities shaping the past and future of dialogue between migration and mobilities research

Hui, Allison (2016) The boundaries of interdisciplinary fields : temporalities shaping the past and future of dialogue between migration and mobilities research. Mobilities, 11 (1). pp. 66-82. ISSN 1745-0101

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This paper contributes to the interdisciplinary fields of migration and mobilities research by temporalizing understandings of their boundaries – places where differences have been entrenched and some concepts have remained beyond negotiation or dialogue. While the creativity and boundary-crossing potential of interdisciplinary fields is often set in opposition to disciplines, which define and regulate appropriate concepts and knowledge, such characterizations obscure how interdisciplinary fields have boundaries that change over and in relation to time. This paper therefore uses three temporal dynamics – a/synchronicity, sequencing, and accumulation over time – to consider the evolving boundaries that have limited collaboration between these fields. By tracing past discussions of concepts such as ‘transnationalism’, ‘mobility’ and ‘methodological nationalism’, it highlights the contingency and complexity of dialogue between these fields, and how they, like disciplines, ‘define what it is permissible not to know’ (Abbott, 2001, p. 130). The new concept of ‘migrant exceptionalism’ is introduced to acknowledge the boundaries created through privileging ‘migrants’ as unique and continuously relevant subjects. Both migration and mobilities scholars are seen to perpetuate migrant exceptionalism, and countering it through the study of sometimes-migrants is identified as a means of modulating existing boundaries and opening new spaces for interdisciplinary dialogue.

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Journal Article
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Mobilities on 25/01/2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? mobilitiesmigrationmigrant exceptionalismtemporalitiesinterdisciplinarymethodological nationalismtransnationalismhong kongdemographysociology and political sciencegeography, planning and development ??
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09 Nov 2015 09:36
Last Modified:
18 Dec 2023 01:31