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Negotiating the Boundaries of Social Membership: Undocumented Migrant Claims-making in Sweden and Spain
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Universidad Nacional Educacion a Distancia, Madrid, Spain.
2014 (English)In: Journal of ethnic and migration studies, ISSN 1369-183X, E-ISSN 1469-9451, Vol. 40, no 8, 1175-1191 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, I address the role organisations and networks play in mobilising for the rights of undocumented migrants and in setting agendas for their inclusion and social membership. I compare two societies with different frameworks of welfare and migration regimes. The empirical material used in this article consists of 44 interviews with actors involved in the processes I define as negotiating social membership in Stockholm and Barcelona: policy-makers, immigration officials, trade unions, NGO activists and the undocumented migrants themselves. In both Sweden and Spain, mobilising groups have been important for the recognition of undocumented migrants. Until recently, undocumented migrants were largely invisible in the Swedish context, often living in extreme marginalisation and precariousness. In Spain, where the informal labour market is more extended and boundaries between the legal and the illegal are less pronounced, migrants have had greater opportunities to settle and to some degree integrate into society. The political opportunities for mobilised actors vary in relation to both the welfare and migration regimes, the structure of the labour market, and more subtle factors as receptiveness for claims-making at a certain time, tolerance for informality in society, and choices of individual actors in crucial positions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 40, no 8, 1175-1191 p.
Keyword [en]
Undocumented Migration, Migrant Claims-making, Social Membership, Citizenship, Contentious Politics
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-105955DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2013.858016ISI: 000336796400002OAI: diva2:733133


Available from: 2014-07-08 Created: 2014-07-08 Last updated: 2014-07-08Bibliographically approved

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