Irregular Migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands: Aspirations and Incorporation
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Irregular Migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands: Aspirations and Incorporation

By Masja Meeteren van
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Book Description

In 'Irregular Migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands', Masja van Meeteren studies the different ways in which irregular migrants live in Belgium and the Netherlands. The book offers an empirically grounded theoretical critique of the dominant research practice that focuses on 'survival strategies', relies on comparisons of migrant communities and overemphasizes structural explanations. Instead, Irregular Migrants takes irregular migrants´ aspirations as a starting point of analysis. Based on this innovative research approach, key questions are answered regarding the lives of irregular migrants. How can we understand their patterns of economic and social incorporation, the transnational activities they engage in, and the significance of different forms of capital? Drawing on intensive participant observation, as well as more than two hundred in-depth interviews with irregular migrants and representatives of organizations that are involved with them, Irregular Migrants develops much-needed contextualized insights. As such, it sheds new light on previous research findings and various deadlocked scholarly debates on irregular migrants in Western societies.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Content
    • Acknowledgements
    • 1 Irregular Migration as a Fact of Life
      • 1.1 Irregular migration as a common feature of Western economies
      • 1.2 Studying the lives of irregular migrants
      • 1.3 Irregular migrants: Who are they?
      • 1.4 Incorporation, assimilation, integration
    • 2 Beyond Victims and Communities
      • Bringing in aspirations
      • 2.1 Current research practice on incorporation
      • 2.2 Common perspective focused on survival
      • 2.3 Social mobility and incorporation
      • 2.4 Comparative designs based on migration motives
      • 2.5 Bringing aspirations in
    • 3 Studying Aspirations
      • 3.1 Grounded theory approach
      • 3.2 Researching the lives of irregular migrants
      • 3.3 Difficulties in studying irregular migrants
    • 4 Immigration Policies in Belgium and the Netherlands
      • 4.1 Introduction
      • 4.2 History
      • 4.3 External control policies
      • 4.4 Internal control policies
      • 4.5 Legalisation
      • 4.6 Research context: Belgium and the Netherlands
    • 5 Investment, Settlement and Legalisation Aspirations
      • 5.1 Three types of aspirations
      • 5.2 Where do they come from?
      • 5.3 Changing aspirations
      • 5.4 Aspirations and strategies
      • 5.5 From aspirations to incorporation
    • 6 Living Different Dreams (I)
      • Aspirations and functional incorporation
      • 6.1 Introduction
      • 6.2 Housing
      • 6.3 Employment
      • 6.4 Other sources of income and assistance
      • 6.5 Changing aspirations
      • 6.6 Aspirations and functional incorporation
    • 7 Living Different Dreams (II)
      • Aspirations and social incorporation
      • 7.1 Introduction
      • 7.2 Leisure time
      • 7.3 Social contacts
      • 7.4 Shifts in aspirations
      • 7.5 Aspirations and social incorporation
    • 8 Aspirations and Transnational Activities
      • 8.1 Introduction
      • 8.2 Economic transnational activities
      • 8.3 Social transnational activities
      • 8.4 Political transnational activities
      • 8.5 Shifts in aspirations
      • 8.6 Aspirations and transnational activities
    • 9 Striving for a Better Position
      • Aspirations and the role of economic, cultural and social capital
      • 9.1 Introduction
      • 9.2 Forms of capital
      • 9.3 Required forms of capital for realisation of aspirations
      • 9.4 Shifts in aspirations
      • 9.5 Aspirations and capital
    • 10 Assessing a New Perspective
      • 10.1 Analysing aspirations: The merits
      • 10.2 Implications
      • 10.3 Moving forward
    • Appendices
      • Appendix 1 Semi-structured interviews: Overview of respondent characteristics
      • Appendix 2 In-depth interviews with irregular migrants: Overview of respondent characteristics
      • Appendix 3 Organisations interviewed
    • References
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