Journal: Globalization Of Migration

684 words | 3 page(s)

1. Whereas historically migration flows have always occurred, globalization has seen an increase in migration flows because of various factors, such as changing governmental policies opening the labor market in globalization, the gains in technology which make such migration more facile, as well as the increase of various “push pull” factors. (Reitzer, 2011, p. 182) The move towards a neoliberal freemarket economy has made government policy, which attempts to adapt to this economy, more open to the acceptance of migrant workers. Furthermore, the entire economic structure of the globalized system, which, for example, facilitates remittances (Reitzer, 2011, p. 182), allows migrant workers to easily send money back to their funds, thus increasing the phenomena of foreign workers.

Technology is a sine qua non for heightened migration flows, since the technological possibilities allow movement to occur at an unheard of speed. Globalization at the same time has created a greater global disparity, which accelerates “push pull” factors. For example, disparity in wages means that when a worker is faced with “contextual issues” (Reitzer, 2011, p. 182), such as unemployment in the home country, the simultaneous “pull factor”, such as “higher pay and lower unemployment” (Reitzer, 2011, p. 182) encourages migration flows. Globalization therefore entails a diverse set of conditions for such unprecedented migration flows.

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2. Illegal migrants can essentially be considered the product of an unequal globalization process, whereby, on the one hand, the need for labor in certain countries, such as the United States, and, on the other hand, the greater social and economic instability of countries, such as in Latin America, creates a migration flow that bypasses the traditional routes of legal migration. An illegal migrant is perhaps most defined by a “push” factor, namely, this “vagabond” migrant is someone “likely to move because they are forced to” (Reitzer, 2011, p. 179), and this very forcing makes a prolonged legal migration untenable. Yet from another perspective, if not for the more fluid borders of globalization, such illegal migration would not even be possible. Thus, the illegal migrant is caught in a type of double bind, forced from a home context, but also demanded as part of a cheap labor market, which reflects the non-globalized nature of the labor market (Weinstein, 2005, p. 125) i.e., its inequality. The unfair stigma attached to the illegal migrant is that although illegal, he performs necessary work in a globalized economy, but is nevertheless still never integrated into the society in which he works.

3. Labor migration has increased in globalization because globalization accelerates push pull factors. (Reitzer, 2011, p. 199) Namely, there must exist some reasons why someone decides to migrate for work. Globalization has created the possibility of a cheap labor force for more developed or developing countries, who pursue “reduction in barriers to migration, e.g., guest worker programs” (Ritzer, & Dean, 2014, p. 268), while the original homes of the labor force are all the more socio-economically unstable. Globalization encourages labor migration through liberalization of labor laws, but also forces migration because of increasing global inequalities.

4. “Diaspora as a transnational process” is facilitated by globalization, insofar as the “expansion of the latter will lead to an increase in the former” (Reitzer, 2011, p. 199): a world in which borders are less strict is more open to migration and thus the creation of diasporas. But for diasporas to maintain their original culture in a globalized world requires some type of maintenance of these particular norms. Here global technological flows may have a somewhat paradoxical effect in preserving diaspora identities. “Trans-state community networks” (Reitzer, 2011, p. 199) become all the more sustainable according to technologies like the Internet that “intensify and accelerate…de-territorializing capacity” (Kim, 2013, p. 109), allowing for instant communication, while making communities less bound to concrete locations. The global technological flows allow for the cultural links necessary to preserving a diaspora to remain intact, thus preventing assimilation and maintaining unique identities even in a globalized flow of migration.

  • Kim, Y. (2013). Transnational migration, media, and identity of Asian women: Diasporic Daughters. London: Routledge.
  • Reitzer, G. (2011). Globalization: The essentials. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Ritzer, G. & Dean, P. (2014). Globalization: A basic text. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Weinstein, M.W. (2005). Globalization: What’s new? New York: Columbia University Press.

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