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Introduction

  • Rosie Roberts
Chapter

Abstract

The introductory chapter examines the value of viewing Australia as a single site within a range of transnational connections. Until recently, Australian migration research and policy has been concerned with what Ley and Kobayashi (2005, p. 112) describe as the traditional migration narrative of ‘departure, arrival and settlement’. Instead, this book argues for a more expansive understanding of Australia within global migration flows, which recognises the experience of contemporary migration as a complex matrix of interactions and connections over time and space, rather than linear and permanent migration. This research began as an exploration of skilled migration. However, as the research progressed and the lives of those interviewed unfolded, it became clear that being a ‘skilled migrant’ was just one categorization that they occupied over their lives and often through a series of migrations. However, with skilled migration as my starting point, I begin this chapter with an analysis of theoretical and empirical research in this field, to problematize the labour driven perspectives of this migrant classification. I argue that there is a need to separate the conceptualisation of skilled migrants as those who engage in official labour channels from people who embody the concept of skills but migrate in other ways, such as spouses and family-sponsored migrants who are not recognised in a country’s official skilled migration statistics. When differences among skilled migrants are often as great as the distinctions between skilled and unskilled, there is a need for more empirical research that recognises and investigates this diversity by attending to the everyday, affective and embodied experiences of these migrants over their lives. A longitudinal and biographical approach to the study of migration brings together spatial, temporal and relational frames, through which to understand the often messy, and evolving experiences of resettlement and belonging.

Keywords

Temporary migration Skilled migration Middling transnationalism Australia Spatiality Temporality 

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Creative IndustriesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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