SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Legal Status Diversity - Linking National Level Control to Local Level Diversities

Dr Fran Meissner (SOAS)

Date: 24 February 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 24 February 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

The paper develops the notion of legal status diversity and draws on ideas about information entropy and processes of encoding and decoding. I argue that the increasing differentiation of parameters of presence that are regulated through status differentiations (such as time a status is valid for) result in a legal status diversity that remains unaccounted for in understanding patterns of flux central to emergent superdiversities. Diversity if thought about as a dynamic social condition has to be studied through these patterns of flux. This provides a crucial link between national level migration regulation and local urban diversities - a link that largely remains understudied. Because the decoding of legal status diversity is done through reductive categorisations it is possible to argue for further stratifications of status differentiations without querying the potential social implications of the smaller differentiations such as reducing the length of validity of different status tracks on patterns of diversity. The paper concludes that normative debates on further differentiating status tracks ought to be informed by empirical insights about legal status geographies and their social implications. There is then a need to adapt ideas about migration related diversity to recognising the fine grained differences between migrants arriving on different legal status tracks.

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Dr Fran Meissner Legal Status Diversity - Linking National Level Control to Local Level Diversities

About the speaker

Fran Meissner is a social scientist of urban diversity. Her main research interest is focused on contemporary urban social configurations and how these are transformed through international migration. She has worked at a number of leading institutions in the field including the Max Planck Institute for the study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Germany and the European University Institute in Italy. As a research Associate at SOAS she is continuing her work on diversity dynamics in urban settings.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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