Timespace and International Migration
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Timespace and International Migration

Edited by Elizabeth Mavroudi, Ben Page and Anastasia Christou

Furthering understanding of the temporalities and spatialities of how people move across international boundaries, this book analyses how timespace intersects with migrant journeys as an integral aspect of the rhythms of daily lives. Individual chapters engage with these concepts by analysing a broad spectrum of migrations and mobilities, from youth mobility, to refugee migration, to gentrification, to food and to the political geography of the border.
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Chapter 2: The temporal complexity of international student mobilities

Francis L. Collins and Sergei Shubin


This chapter explores the links between migration, temporality and subjectivity, and provides a critical analysis of the standard treatment of time in the study of international student mobility, which is usually understood in terms of maximising utility in the future by moving across a measurable grid of time and space in the present. In contrast, this chapter seeks out the complex, unexpected and ineffable experiences of temporality among young people on the move. Building their argument from Heidegger’s Being and Time, Collins and Shubin seek to move beyond linear and compartmentalised accounts of time by claiming that human being is constituted by different temporalities simultaneously. Such an examination draws out the temporal complexity whereupon age/life stage, mobility and the development of skills and competences are all seen in a broader focus and in coexistence with futures, pasts and presents of migrants. In this framing the authors highlight a discussion that moves beyond the principles of utility maximisation in which students are perceived to be undertaking journeys with the goal of achieving strategic objectives. Hence, a temporal complexity can reveal the salience of subjectivity in mobility; and, by extension, student migrants can be understood as undergoing processes of becoming, transformative and expressive of ambiguity which may entail anxiety and uncertainty. However, as the authors underscore, the latter need not be unproductive affects. Keywords: international students, mobilities, non-linear time, subjectivity, becoming, affect

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