An Im/Mobility Turn: Power Geometries of Care and Migration


Bélanger, Danièle, and Rachel Silvey. 2020. “An Im/Mobility Turn: Power Geometries of Care and Migration.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 46 (16): 3423-40.

Authors: Danièle Bélanger, Rachel Silvey


This special issue explores the analytical significance of immobility for understanding the inequalities that animate—and co-exist in tandem with—growing global mobility and migration. With a particular focus on the literature on migrant care workers, the collection examines how the socio-spatial mobility of these workers is blocked, stuck, and constrained, and how these immobilities are integral to their migration experiences. Extending Doreen Massey’s idea of ‘power geometries’ to migration studies, we offer the concept of an ‘im/mobility turn’—wherein the back slash highlights the connections between immobility and mobility—to emphasise how particular forms of movement are shaped by the regulations, inequalities, and disciplinary pressures that delimit that movement. In the current global context where anti-immigration and xenophobia are on the rise, and where temporary migrant labour regimes of all kinds are increasingly common, we argue that attention to the many forms of immobility that are evident in care work migration may offer clues for grasping how immobilities function in relation to contemporary migration politics more generally.

Keywords: immobility, mobility, care work, migrants, gender, power geometries, social reproduction, inequality

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2019

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