Future Aspirations Among Refugee Youth in Turkey
Date and time: October 20, 2020, 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
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Part of the Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration with guest speaker Ayşen Üstübici
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Along with several urgent issues related to their wellbeing and integration, one of the pressing questions about Syrian refugees in Turkey is whether they use Turkey as a “stepping stone” to reach other countries or whether they will ever return to Syria. This paper explains the future mobility aspirations of Syrian refugee youth between the ages of 18 and 30 living in Turkey in relation to their experiences of social mobility and integration in Turkey. The main layers of the puzzle is the relationship between post-migration mobility aspirations and integration; taking into account that integration and social class are closely related. We examined individual trajectories of Syrian refugees in five cities in Turkey using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. In addition to survey data, our qualitative analysis using 103 semi-structured interviews further explain the interrelation between integration experience and mobility aspirations. We explore different forms of capital (cultural, social, and economic) that refugee youth have accumulated both in Syria and Turkey, how this capital may shape their aspirations, and whether their accumulated capital can be used as a tool for further migration. Hence, our analysis sheds light on how structures in terms of border closures, situation in the first country of asylum and country of origin and individual agency interact in the forming of mobility aspiration in contexts of forced displacement.
About the speaker:
Ayşen Üstübici is currently an Assistant Professor at Koç University Department of Sociology and the Department of Political Science. She is also a member of the executive board and vice-director of the Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc). She completed her PhD at Koç University and at the University of Amsterdam in 2015. Her book entitled ‘The Governance of International Migration: Irregular Migrants’ Access to Right to Stay in Turkey and Morocco’ has been published by the University of Amsterdam Press in 2018. Her current research explores dynamics of integration and social cohesion at the local level as well as changing migration and mobility aspirations. She is the principal investigator in two research projects as part of EU-wide consortia funded with Horizon 2020 framework; one on migration-development nexus (MIGNEX), another on advancing alternative migration governance (ADMIGOV). Her areas of interest include international migration, irregular migration, externalization of border management, social and public policy, the informal labor market and gender studies. She published articles in Geopolitics, New Perspectives on Turkey, Migration and Development, Comparative Migration Studies. She recently co-edited a Special Issue, entitled “Externalization at work: Responses to migration policies from the Global South” in Comparative Migration Studies. As of January 2020, she is one of the editors of the journal International Migration.
Co-sponsors: MIT Center for International Studies
Free and open to the public
Sponsored by the Inter-University Committee on International Migration
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The Inter-University Committee on International Migration
Since its establishment in 1974, the Inter-University Committee on International Migration has been a focal point for migration and refugee studies at member institutions, which include Boston University, Brandeis University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University, and Wellesley College. The committee is chaired by MIT as a program of the Center for International Studies (CIS).
Migration Seminar Series
During each academic year, the Committee sponsors a seminar series on international migration, The Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration, held at MIT’s Center for International Studies. The seminars explore factors affecting international population movements and their impact upon sending and receiving countries and relations among them.
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