Migration, Temporality and Capitalism: A Brief Introduction

  • Pauline Gardiner Barber
  • Winnie Lem


This introduction highlights the world of capitalist change to suggest migration has been shaped by forms of capital accumulation in distinct eras and through various disjunctures of time. The chapter offers the optic of discrepant temporalities to highlight the inconsistencies and disjunctive time scales in the lives of migrants as they contend with changing regimes of labor, security, family and citizenship under different phases of capitalist transformation, both in the past and in the present. An exclusive emphasis upon migration and time is a relatively new arena in migration scholarship. While temporal reckoning has long fascinated anthropologists, few studies have sought to confront the centrality of how capitalism manipulates time in the production of global inequalities, both historically and in the contemporary world, most recently under neoliberalist policy regimes. Our work here therefore enters into current discussions of temporality as a feature of migrant experience to offer a theoretically robust and ethnographically informed investigation of migration and temporality set within an overall framework defined by the political economy of capitalism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pauline Gardiner Barber
    • 1
  • Winnie Lem
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social AnthropologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.International Development StudiesTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada

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