Against ‘immigrant integration’: for an end to neocolonial knowledge production
Comparative Migration Studies , Volume 6 - Issue 31
This paper, written on invitation by the editors of Comparative Migration Studies, is intended as a provocation piece for invited commentators, and more broadly for those working with, or concerned about, the field of immigrant integration research. It outlines an argument put forward in Imagined Societies. A Critique of Immigrant Integration in Western Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2017) that 1) critiques immigrant integration research for bad (or lacking) conceptual work, specifically also in regard to the core sociological notion of ‘society’; 2) argues that immigrant integration monitoring is a neocolonial form of knowledge intricately bound up with the contemporary workings of power, and 3) proposes social science moves beyond notions of ‘immigrant integration’ and ‘society’ towards an imagination against the grain that involves paying due attention to what happens when migrants move across social ecologies, without resorting to commonsense and/or policy categories in doing so.