In this interdisciplinary unit students examine migration as part of broader changes at the national, regional and global levels, flagged by the UN and other multilateral bodies as a core component of the human development agenda. Students compare a variety of different forms of migration, including forced, skilled and temporary migration. The unit analyses key issues relating to migration, including in particular, the roles played by political organisations, social networks and transnationalism within the migratory experience. In looking at these issues, students critically engage with key debates around culture, race, diaspora and identity that are vital to understanding the social and political context of migration. Included here are debates pertaining to cultural pluralism, acculturation and multiculturalism. The complexities of identity and community making in the context of migration are also examined.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Derive the different forms that migration takes from primary and secondary sources, and critically compare these forms;  
  2. Analyse the way migration and related micro-experiences, connect to broader social processes;  
  3. Critique the key debates around culture, race and identity, as they relate to migration through the selection of justified theoretical propositions; and  
  4. Communicate effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences including multi-disciplinary teams, diverse cultural communities and other professional organisations.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Essay Research-based essay on topics of contemporary migration issues and contexts (3000 words) 50%
Exercise Seminar paper and weekly summary (3000 words) 50%
Minimum effective word limit 7000 words

Required reading

Multiculturalism and intergration: A harmonious relationship,
Clyne, M & Jupp, J (eds) 2011,
Canberra: ANU E Press.

Neoliberalism as exception,
Ong, A 2006,
Durham & London: Duke University Press.

Overcoming barriers: Human Mobility and Development. Human Development Report 2009.
UNDP, 2009

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