Edited by Leila Simona Talani and Simon McMahon
Chapter 6: Migration, transnationalization and urban transformations
Economic globalization has changed the character of cities and the outlook of migration. Urban agglomerations today are key to global economic growth, and the 20 largest economies of the world include not only countries such as the United States and China in first and second rank, respectively, but also cities such as Tokyo (ranked 12), New York (14) and Los Angeles (20) (World Bank 2010). Increasingly, the destinations of international migration are urban areas, where job opportunities and social networks tend to concentrate (Balbo 2005). The same global transformations that have attracted migrants to cities have simultaneously displaced many people from poorer regions. However, it is not only young and low-educated males from poor countries who migrate, although they have received the most attention. Migration today is to a large degree feminized and involves a significant portion of highly educated professionals, both male and female. Contemporary migrants have also used their transnational connections to respond to the constraints and opportunities of globalization. Migrants are tied to various localities in two or more states through cross-border social relations, practices and identities (Faist et al. 2013). While globalization theory tends to favour a macro perspective on world-spanning structures, this chapter advances a transnational approach that concentrates on the dynamics and implications of the cross-border practices of individuals and groups.
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