Migration, Borders and Transnationalism in Global Societies - SOCI9820

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) David Garbin checkmark-circle


This module aims to develop a critical understanding of the linkages between transnationalism and border-making in global postcolonial societies. It will connect migration, one of the most timely, pressing and politicised issues of recent times, to processes of bordering, belonging and citizenship in multiple national and cultural contexts. The module will also examine how the transnational circulation of ideas, values, information, objects, as well as cross-border flows and (formal and informal) networks are shaping uneven regimes of globalisation. Over the course of the term, we will debate and critically explore the complex cartography of transnationalism with empirical case studies spanning Global South and Global North societies. We will critically discuss key concepts and theories deployed to analyse these contemporary processes and examine the methodologies adopted to investigate them.
Examples of the central questions this module will address are:
• What is 'bordering' and what impact does it have on the making of nationalism and transnationalism?
• To what extent can migrants become transnational citizens?
• What is the societal impact of global mobility and global networks?
• How is transnational migration connected to the politics of identities?
• In a world of global flows how do we now understand the 'local'?
• How is migration/transnationalism connected to postcolonialism?
• How can we research migration and transnationalism?


Contact hours

Private Study: 178
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 200


Optional module for the following courses: MA Sociology, MA Criminology, MA International Social Policy. Also available as an elective module.

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.
• Brambilla, C., Laine, J. and Bocchi, G. 2015. Borderscaping: Imaginations and Practices of Border Making. London: Routledge.
• Brettell, C. and Hollifield, J. F. 2022. Migration theory: talking across discipline. London: Routledge.
• Green, N. L. and Waldinger, R. 2016. A Century of Transnationalism. University of Illinois Press.
• Haas, d. H., Castles, S. and Miller, M. 2019. The age of migration: international population movements in the modern world. London: Bloomsbury.
• Mayblin, L. and J. Turner. 2020. Migration Studies and Colonialism. London: Wiley.
• Vertovec, S. 2010. Transnationalism. London: Routledge
• Yuval-Davis, N., Wemyss, G. and Cassidy, D. 2019. Bordering. London: Polity.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes are as listed below.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Develop a critical understanding of migration, its diversity and consequences in terms of border-crossing and border-making processes
2 Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the key theories and concepts deployed to analyse contemporary processes of transnationalism, migration and bordering
3 Relate processes of migration and transnationalism to wider sociological debates on the politics of social and cultural belonging (including ethnicity and religion)
4 Relate processes of transnationalism to wider sociological debates on the political economy of globalisation and postcolonialism
5 Demonstrate a clear appreciation of the extent to which migration raises complex questions of nationality and citizenship in global societies
6 Contextualise specific constructions of individual and collective social dynamics within a variety of migration and transnational situations.

The intended generic learning outcomes are as listed below.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Critically evaluate varied multidisciplinary theoretical and analytical approaches to the subjects and materials examined.
2 Analyse and contextualise theoretical and empirical case studies within both the module's key themes and a broader academic discourse.
3 Draw on relevant materials and analytical tools to develop considered arguments and evaluations, and be able to present these clearly to both specialist and non-specialist audiences using a range of methods.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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