Migration and Inequality: Call for participants in a research café


Applications due August 8th 2016


8-9th December 2016, University of Auckland, New Zealand

We are currently seeking applications from graduate students at Australian universities to receive funding and participate in a two-day workshop and research café on the topic of Migration and Inequality. The research café includes keynote addresses from Professor Harald Bauder (Ryerson University) and Dr. Ruth DeSouza (Monash University) as well as presentations from leading researchers and graduate students on the policy, wellbeing and political dimensions of migration and inequality.


Successful applicants will join graduate students at the University of Auckland and other universities in New Zealand to participate in a Master Class run by Professor Bauder, an afternoon workshop, and a research café. Applications are encouraged from students in disciplines across the social sciences including but not limited to anthropology, geography, sociology, policy studies, politics, gender studies, social epidemiology and demography.


The master class will be run by Professor Harald Bauder and focus on developing the ideas from his forthcoming book on Borders, Migration, Freedom. Successful applicants will also be involved in a workshop with community members structured around three themes that mirror the sessions in the research café: 1) migration regulation and inequality, 2) migration, wellbeing and inequality and 3) migration and the politics of inequality.  They will collaborate with other graduate students and community members to make a presentation within a one-day research café; there may also be opportunities to contribute to written, publishable outputs.


These research events are being organised by researchers from across the University of Auckland representing a wide range of disciplinary affiliations: Francis Collins (Geography), Rachel Simon-Kumar (Population Health), Ward Friesen (Geography), Shanthi Ameratunga (Population Health), Kathy Smits (Politics) and Jay Marlowe (Education and Social Work).


Successful applicants will have their return airfares from Australia to Auckland paid, and will be accommodated near the University of Auckland’s inner city campus. Applications should include a one page C.V. and a 100 word statement as to the reasons for participating in this research café and its’ relevance to your research interests.  Applications should be submitted by email by August 8th 2016 to:


Harry Shi: yshi114@aucklanduni.ac.nz



Over the past decade, as disparities in wealth and opportunity have grown rapidly, inequality has re-emerged as a key focus for social scientists. In New Zealand these debates have started to address the ways that social and economic settings generate inequality in health, education, housing and life opportunities. While these debates have addressed ethnicity as a variable in inequality, there remains little explicit concern for migration as a phenomenon that structures and produces social inequality. Rashbrooke’s popular text Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, for example, makes passing reference to migration as a background factor in M?ori urbanisation and the growth of Pacific communities, but otherwise has little to say about the role of contemporary migration patterns, policies or processes in generating inequality. Internationally too, there has been a tendency for debates and research on inequality to be methodologically nationalist in orientation and empirics and as a result rarely incorporate the necessarily transnational contours of migration and its implications for people and place.

Our research café explicitly tackles the intersections between Migration and Inequality and in doing so sets a new agenda for migration scholarship in New Zealand that can contribute to global debates. It builds on recognition that many forms of inequality here have a relationship to migration: the effects of early European settlement and the displacement of M?ori, the unequal incorporation of settler migrants now and in the past, patterns of internal migration and urbanisation, or the role of inequality in the departure of New Zealanders for Australia or further afield. Moreover, we recognise that the movement involved in migration manifests in social, geographic and civic inequalities: migrants have different freedoms; are treated differently according to status, nationality, race, gender and age; and migrants bring with them complex inequalities produced elsewhere that can then be exacerbated in migration. As experiences in New Zealand have demonstrated these inequalities manifest immediately in migrant lives but also across generations with implications for social, economic and cultural wellbeing.

The focus on Migration and Inequality advances current thinking beyond perennial questions about the inequalities that exist between migrant communities and settled populations. Instead, we ask, how do the politics, patterns and experiences of migration generate inequalities in the present and then across individual lives and generations? What are the profiles of socio-economic inequality within seemingly homogenous migrant groups? What cultural, systemic and policy frameworks, including multiculturalism and diversity, generate or exacerbate these inequalities? What are the political implications of migrant inequalities for wider consideration of participation, rights and cohesion? These questions move the issues of migration as a set of relationships beyond white settler or indigenous groups vs. ethnic migrants where the debates have rested thus far.    

Francis L. Collins
Senior Lecturer, Geography
Rutherford Discovery Fellow
University of Auckland

Nation and Migration: population mobilities, desires and state practices in 21st century New Zealand