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Understanding Migration, Migrants, and Human Security with an Emphasis on Asia

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Lecture by Bandana Purkayastha, University of Connecticut

According to the latest data from the United Nations (UN), international migration has continued to grow reaching 281 million people in 2022. The number of people who were forced to migrate have grown as well; UNHCR records 84.7 million forced migrants. Traditionally, scholarly discussions about migration and migrants typically focused on migrants after they reached a country; scholars analyzed structures within countries and migrants’ efforts to become a part of the destination country. Influenced by critical conversations on migration, especially from South Asia,  Professor Purkayastha will outline why we need to think beyond single nation states to understand migrants’ lives today. Moving beyond the fragmented conversations about internal and international migrants and those who were trafficked vs. others who were forced to migrate, she will discuss migrants’ human security—their ability to survive and thrive with human dignity—and the global to local entities that impede migrants’ attempts to build lives of dignity. As the meanings of “migrant” and socio-political realities of migrants’ lives continue to change, Professor Purkayastha will discuss human security with reference to migrants during the pandemic. She will also examine the cases of virtual migrants and stateless persons to expand the discussion of migration, migrants, and human security.

Bandana Purkayastha is Professor of Sociology and Asian & Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her current research interests focus on gender and intersectionality, migration and migrants, transnationalism, human rights/human security, and violence and peace. Her research, mentoring and leadership in the field has been recognized through many national awards. The co-edited book (with William Armaline and Davota Silfen Glasberg) on human rights in the US was awarded the Gordon Hirabayashi book award in 2013 by the Human Rights section of American Sociological Association (ASA). ASA/Asia and Asian American section recognized her work through the Contributions to the Field (career) award in 2016; and UCONN College of Liberal Arts and Sciences conferred the Research Excellence for social science in 2019.  Purkayastha was American Sociological Association’s 2019 Jessie Bernard award co-winner “in recognition of scholarly work, inclusive of research teaching, mentoring and service, that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society.”

RSVP required for webinar (click here)

This public webinar is presented in conjunction with the UCLA winter course Sociology 180A (Asian Community: Border-Crossing, Diasporic Formation, and Social Transformation in Asia), with generous funding from the Eurasia Foundation (from Asia).

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Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2022