World populations on the move: What are they thinking? Why does it matter? Social cognition and migration politics – Special Issue Launch

Susan T. Fiske (Princeton), Douglas S. Massey (Princeton), Tom Kecskemethy (American Academy of Political and Social Sciences)
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17:30 - 18:30
Oxford Martin School (in-person or online)
34 Broad St
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Moving to a new city, a new country, or a new continent changes how people think about themselves and others they encounter.

Migration changes people – both those who move and those who stay. As their society changes, so does how people understand time, space, and their place. Because human cognition is changing in a world of migrant flows, policymakers and social-service providers want to know about who is moving, who is not, and how we make sense of one another.

In “Making Sense of One Another in Crossing Borders: Social Cognition and Migration Politics,” special editors Ilka Vari-Lavoisier and Susan T. Fiske, with consulting editors Christophe Nordman and Douglas S. Massey, convene a group of scholars to discuss how new intellectual approaches - ideas crossing disciplinary borders - can inform our understanding of people crossing borders - migration-based social diversity - and the design of public policies in diverse societies.

Through discussions of cognition and labour market mobility in India to anxiety among natives and migrants in the UK after the Brexit vote, Fiske and Vari-Lavoisier and their authors paint a picture of how individual cognition influences an individual’s decision to migrate, their views on migrants’ social status, or their views of migrants’ religious conversion, among other topics. From this individual cognition frame, the editors and authors discuss how broader social and public policy views are shaped. “In other words,” Fiske and Vari-Lavoisier write in their introduction to the volume, “this first volume on the cognition and migration nexus stands as an invitation to deepen the analysis of the relationships among internal mental processes, collective representations, social practices, political structures, and socioeconomic change.”


Susan T. Fiske (Princeton)
Ilka Vari-Lavoisier (Oxford)
Douglas S. Massey (Princeton)
Christophe Jalil Nordman (IRD)
Tom Kecskemethy (American Academy of Political and Social Science)

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